professornana (professornana) wrote,

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No wonder I'm tired

I know I have one of the best jobs in the world. It involves loads of reading and writing and talking: three of my favorite things to do. I get to travel and meet new colleagues. I have the opportunity to speak to groups of all kinds. And did I mention the reading?

So, sharing this recent article is not really a complaint; it is an observation. Sometimes I wonder why I am so tired at the end of the day. Here is why:

Some of this does not apply to me. Take this conclusion: "The study also gives insight into exactly where professors are carrying out their work. Some 59 percent of work – or 36 hours per week – takes place on campus, with 24 percent of work taking place at home and 17 percent of work taking place at other off-campus locations." When I first began to work as a university teacher, I did indeed spend time each day, Monday through Friday, on campus. Then, I spent only two days on campus, then one day on campus and one out in the field. Now, since our program is online totally, I spend one day in the office generally (8 hours) and then the rest of the week working from home. However, in terms of the number of hours, it is still applicable.

I report this here because there is a misconception on the part of some (and I think the leaders of the reform movement from outside of education are generally the most misinformed folks about this aspect of my job) that we do little work for massive pay. Wrong on both counts, I am afraid.

So, some food for thought. I wonder what would happen if I cut back to 40 hours of work each week? What would not get accomplished? What tasks would be left incomplete? How much of the TO-DO list remain at the end of each day?

BTW, I know if we were to do a similar study of teachers at ANY level, these numbers would hold true. Grading, parent contacts, duties, lesson plans, etc. They take time and sometimes in ways of which we are not always aware. Did you spend time this weekend on Twitter in chats? Yup. How about posting links for fellow educators on Facebook or your blog? Bet you did. Did you read? Write? Have an idea that caused you to stop "relaxing" and begin planning. I have no doubt.

So, after you read this, take a break. Go outside if weather permits. Deep breath. Mental image of this beautiful spring. Or sit back, enjoy a frosty beverage of your choice. Eat a leftover Girl Scout cookie (if there are any left) or a piece of Easter candy. And know that the time you invest is so incredibly important. The time you give to the kids is immeasurable in so many ways.
Tags: time
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