Sunday, September 22, 2013

How do you people do it?

How do professors ever get any research done when they are teaching? I'm asking seriously.

Last week (Sunday to Saturday) I worked 49 hours. 35 hours of it was teaching, 14 of it was other stuff (e.g. looking for jobs, being a good lab and department citizen, email). 25 of those hours were for my adjunct position, which included grading about 35 lab reports. 10 hours were for being a TA. I had Adele (now 4 months old) with me at school Tuesday and Thursday (a friend babysat her while I taught). I worked at home with her (and Jon) on Friday.

I am feeling overwhelmed. I don't have nearly enough time to work on my own advancement. I need to get publications submitted and I need to find a job. Both of these things are feeling impossible. Jon said it best-- I basically have 4 jobs. Teaching at UBC, teaching at the other place, applying for jobs, and then continuing everything I've been working on for the last 6 years.

Part of me wants to just give up on my research aspirations and find a nice 9-5 job with some paid vacation and benefits.


African Fieldworker said...

one thing you have to do is settle for good enough, not perfect with your teaching. Especially TAing (I write or do email during lecture, since I'm not giving it). I say this as someone who has also gotten a teaching award, so it doesn't mean you are crappy, just careful with your time. Your powerpoint slides do not need to be perfectly edited, don't kill too much time finding the perfect photo, etc. How long did you spend grading an commenting on those lab reports? I make limited comments and tell students they can come see me for more detailed ones (which they rarely do).

this all gets better with practice though...both because some parts of teaching get easier and you get a better idea of where to cut corners.

Psycgirl said...

I agree - you need to put a lid on teaching and not give it more time than that. Otherwise, it will take everything. I tell myself I can be an amazing instructor after tenure - for now, I am good enough. Also, delegate when possible. Use a TA, clear marking rubrics with checklists, and peer marking.

Karina said...

Thank you both for the suggestions. Last week I set a 6 minute timer and raced through the lab report grading. Only a couple required more time than that when I just gave myself permission to be brief. They were pretty good reports too, which made it easier. They are getting better at writing (and I'm being more careful to give them clear instructions).