Next Semester

It looks like I will be teaching five classes next semester. Five different preps. Now, two are British Literature, and two are ninth grade, but the courses are at two different levels, so though the preps are similar, they’re not the same. I’m not going to complain except to wonder aloud how I will manage with a difficult grad school course on the horizon (to be honest, I’m not sure my second grad school course is difficult or not: could be). I am lucky in that I’ve taught all the courses before. I already reflect here too little because of all the constraints on my time, and it bothers me. I don’t post. I don’t have any time to do everything I need to do, and I stay busy. Wish me luck.

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5 thoughts on “Next Semester

  1. Wow! That sounds like quite a semester, Dana. I get overwhelmed by two preps (albeit in two different subjects) sometimes, so I can only begin to imagine five. Even when you've taught classes before, there's still work because you're tweaking and refining. Reflecting doesn't always have to take the form of blog posts- Take a picture of the pages of your Teacher's Daybook for the week and post it, tweet out a quick reflection, answer a question on the EC Ning and link to it- those sorts of things all count, too. Find ways to feed yourself as you juggle your responsibilities (says the girl who currently has a cold because she didn't get enough sleep last week :)) Best of luck! Your students will be lucky to have you!

    • Thanks! You're right. There are other things I can do. I can reflect using my voice memo app on my iPhone or record a quick video, too. I have done this before. It was hard, then, too, but I've become used to four.

  2. I have done it–taught 6 classes and did school at night. Give yourself a break and acknowledge not all will get done. I survived by making a minimal schedule for reflection (read that blogging, etc) and refashioned wiki work as a project based operation, instead of full course management. The end result–my coursework informed my teaching and I felt less frustration over the lack of time. It's all good.

  3. I, too, have had this same number of preps and have been taking graduate courses for two years. I feel like you're right to anticipate some stress related to the demands that this schedule will place on your life. I've had to learn to say a very, very important word over the past two years. I recommend it highly. It's NO. I use this word more frequently now than ever before. Not out of spite or selfishness, but if I feel like I'm not going to do my most important job (students come first!) well if I don't start saying NO to something.

    I've also let go of a couple of commitments that were valuable but time consuming. I now make sure that I do things I like with this extra time–gym, free read, walk dog, laugh with husband. This helps to keep me sane. Sanity is important.

    Good luck!

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