My first academic year as a lecturer is nearly over (just some final admin and resits to go). At the moment I feel like it’s all been super stressful, but actually looking back I do remember some heady days last semester when my teaching load was light and I had not a care in the world! Seeing as I clearly should have used that light teaching load time to do more planning and preparation for when I had a heavier teaching load, I’m already thinking about what I should try to do differently next year. I am going to pin this list to my office wall:
- Write down all marking (and second-marking) submission dates and marking deadlines at the start of the semester so that I have allocated some time to complete the marking. (Some second-marking was a bit of a surprise gift in my pigeon-hole this year).
- Write down all admin tasks associated with being a module leader and their respective deadlines – this is a new responsibility this year and no-one seems to have a document titled “things you have to remember to do during the semester when you’re leading a module” to help me so I’m going to write one (with help from our fantastic Senior Administrator).
- Don’t agree to supervise Final Year Projects so far from my areas of interest – it just eats up too much time.
- Don’t answer student emails outside office hours. I feel like this year I set a bad precedent with some of my project students who then expected me to answer in the middle of the night.
- Do try to respond to all emails by the end of the day – and then delete/archive from inbox – do not *star* and wait for later…. inbox ends up full of stars!
- Cut down on marking time. I can’t help giving excessive amounts of feedback and have tried setting a timer to limit myself per report – this worked on later assignments this year so I just need to adhere to it more strongly next year.
- Reduce the content of some lectures – honestly I didn’t have time to take a breath during my “Consciousness and Metacognition” lecture to the Level 1 students – I think my overload of content was because I just found so much interesting research when I was writing the lecture so I wanted to include it. Next year I just need to rein it in a little so the students (and myself) are not overwhelmed.
- Adhere to my ‘one day for research’ more strictly, perhaps even by not checking email that day? Or at least by only checking it once at the beginning and once at the end of the day.
Photo from: http://www.teachhub.com/5-reasons-summer-overrated-teachers