My days instructing on campus are long but fulfilling. Although I work full time as a professor, I do not go into my physical office every weekday. Technology yields ample opportunities to stay connected to the office and my campus remotely. I am lucky to have a condensed teaching load, which means I can avoid my commute by working from home on days when I don't teach and do not have meetings. The only trade-off is that on those "teaching days," I teach back to back to back. This can be quite exhausting because I invest and expel a great deal of energy to try to ensure my lectures are dynamic and engaging as well as informative.
On the days when I teach, I wake up and answer emails while I drink my coffee (and lets be honest, baby wrangle!). I begin to get ready but often cannot finish until my sister comes to take care of Emilia. I grab the lunch I likely packed the night prior and my big reusable water bottle, along with my teaching bag full of course materials, papers that have been or need to be graded, and my work laptop if I brought it home and head to work. My commute is long but I try to maximize the time by listening to NPR. I find it relaxing but more importantly, it allows me to keep tabs on current events and find inspiration for examples that might better illustrate concepts in lectures.
When I arrive on campus, I drop off everything in my office, go to the main office to check my mailbox, get some coffee, and grab any additional supplies I might need. I try to arrive at least a half hour before I hold my office hours so that I have time to settle in to things. I input grades, I answer voice mails, and I hold my office hours with students I teach and/or advise.
If no one comes to office hours, I use the time to grade, fine tune my lectures, design assignments, etc. I might have some of my lunch during this time too.
When it is time to teach, I grab my materials and head to the classroom to set up. If my classes don't run over time, I have fifteen minutes in between, to run to the rest room, refill my water, or have a few more bites of my lunch in my office. The time I spend teaching is hectic but because of the condensed arrangement, it really flies by. Before I know it, I head back to my office to wrap up for the day. I finish and input any grades from presentations or assignments that day, pack up materials to be graded, and head back home. More NPR or music if I am feeling too drained to think anymore.
I feel really lucky to work in education and come from a family of teachers. So even when the days are draining and long, they're usually at least philosophically pretty great.
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