Happy Monday! This blog post is brought to you by… a snow day! Yep, classes were cancelled today as we are having our first blizzard of the year. It has been great to catch up on schoolwork and blogging without distractions…well, other than shoveling.
Anyway, this 3rd month recap of my first year is coming a little late, and after reading I think you can see why. I started writing this post October 30th…so yeah, November is shaping up to be just as busy as October! I can honestly tell you than I earn EVERY penny of my paycheck, but still really enjoy what I’m doing. Most days, even the time I have AFTER i get home from work is spent on…work. I had planned on doing a “day in the life” post, but frankly, one day doesn’t give you a whole perspective…so I thought I’d give you 48 hours..my days are so different and there is a new crisis each day. Most days I have a plan, but like most educators our schedules revolve around helping our students and developing our research outside of class and things rarely go as planned. For those of who think teaching is “easy”…hopefully you’ll have a better appreciation.
And for those of you teachers with kids– you da real mvp. I have no idea how you do it, as you’ll be able to tell from this I can barely get by keeping myself alive. Pour yourself a glass of wine after work tonight because you deserve it!
48 Hours in the life of a first-year professor
Tuesday (The last week of October)
6:30 am — alarm goes off. NOOOOOOO is my initial thought because my bed is so warm!
7 am- I force myself out of bed. Pick out my clothes, make breakfast and eat in the car…because I can’t help but multitask. Side note: I am doing an outfit challenge with my old roommates where we do not repeat outfits…11 weeks and going strong!
8 am- class. We’re talking about fitness today, and although I enjoy learning/teaching on fitness it’s definitely not my strongest subject compared to others! This unit is taking longer to talk about, so we’re behind…again. It’s not a bad thing, just trial and error. I made a deal with my students that if they filled out their reading guide for fitness BEFORE class, they would get to use it on their next quiz. Low and behold when I ask them if filling it out BEFORE class was helpful, they said yes! I do a mental happy dance.
9:45 am- I usually sit in on another class that I may be teaching in the future, but I have way too much do to today. I get back to my office to a bazillon emails on my school, gmail, and blog. I first check the school email and respond to student questions and appointments. Then move to my gmail… I see that I have 3 emails in the past 2 hours from my PhD advisor since we are trying to resubmit a paper for publication. I have a minor panic attack, followed by a scoop of PB straight out of the jar, then tackle reviewer comments for that paper.
11 am – I can tell I’m starting to be unproductive on the paper, so I send what I have to my PhD advisor and tackle another project. I create two reading guides for future chapters that we’re covering in class and post them on the class website.
11:45 am- I realize that I have not yet made a to-do list today and think of several things that need done, so I knock that out. On that list are grading lab reports that I’ve put off an entire week for lab the next day, checking my NFL fantasy football team and submitting a wavier (#priorities), and creating a syllabus for a class I’m teaching next semester,
12 pm- Lunch with other younger faculty. Every Tuesday we get together and eat, it is much needed social time!
1 pm- Meet with a student to talk about their grade and study tips for the class.
1:30 pm- Realize that I don’t feel as confident going into the next part of lecture over the next couple days, so I double check my lecture and notes.
2pm – Meet with my dept chair to discuss textbooks for a class I’m developing in Agriculture and Nutrition.
2:30 pm- Start grading lab reports.
4:00 pm- Faculty meeting to discuss upcoming lab. A nice break from grading lab reports.
4:30 pm- Back to grading lab reports! This photo was a snapchat from another day, but you get the picture…
6 pm- My brain can’t function anymore. I answer a few school emails before heading home.
6:30 – Home, eating dinner. I have a lot of brinner supplies (great when you are on a budget), so I make some chocolate chip pancakes and don’t even feel bad about it.
8 pm- Back on campus. It’s National Food Week this week so we have an invited speaker on Agriculture and Women in Farming.
9 pm- I can barely keep my eyes open, but I look over my lecture slides for the next day to make sure I know what the heck I’m talking about.
10 pm- Bed.
6:30 alarm. Gahhhhhh. I did not sleep well last night, despite how tired I was.
7 am- I finally get out of bed and get ready…I had leftover pancakes from last night so I take those with me to work to eat before class.
7:30 am- I realize I want to incorporate more information about sports drinks into my lecture, so I quick do some research and add in the information. I also notice my desk is a disaster so I organize before class. Photo is pre-organization, for the record.
8 am- Class. Still talking about fitness.
9:15 am- today there were more student questions after class than normal, which is totally fine by me because that means the students are paying attention! I head back to my office to meet with another student about their grade and study habits. During that meeting, I have another student drop by to talk about their class schedule.
10 am- Realize that I have not entered lab report grades into my gradebook and that we have lab very, very soon.
10:30 am — I teach 3 labs in a row on Wednesday from 10:30- 2 pm. Today in lab we are learning about find credible sources of information on the internet and utilizing them for their current topics presentations they have to do the following week. Kindaaa a boring lab compared to the others, but it’s a nice break from lecture and talking the entire time!
2 pm- Yeahhh, I’m starving. I run to the cafe on campus for a sandwich.
2:15pm – I had students fill out collaboration rubrics for their lab groups to make sure the work was getting distributed equally, so I look through those to make sure things are going smoothly.
2:30 pm- Check my email. I see an email reminder that it’s faculty book club today (we are discussing a book about student learning) and realize there is no way I am going to be able to make it, as I still haven’t conquered my to-do list from yesterday. I make a promise to myself I’ll go next week.
3 pm- Start writing/prepping lecture for next Monday.
3:15 pm– Realize that the teaching/pedagogy discussion group I help co-lead meets tomorrow and that I haven’t sent out the email. We want to talk about learning objectives and translating that into assessment. I quick pull some documents from my file and also research online and send out an email…which I later find out was probably way too formal and scary. Oops!
3:30 pm– Remember that for some reason, my textbooks I’ve requested to review haven’t been sent to me, so I work up the courage to call the company. They are super nice and helpful. YAY.
3:45 Look at my email. 3 more emails this afternoon about that publication from my Ph.D. advisor. We are trying to resubmit by Friday, so she needs a response/next version right away. I work on making edits.
5 pm- Done with the paper for now…but that lecture I needed to start at 3 definitely got pushed to the side. I vow to myself to make it a little farther on the lecture and then head home.
5:30 pm- there is just a bit of daylight out there, so I go for a quick run. It’s not fast, but I’m sweaty by the end!
6:30 pm- Home. More brinner. I’ve been bad about eating veggies lately, so it’s a scrambled eggs and veggie kinda night.
7:00 pm – Write a quiz that my students are taking on Friday and Tuesday.
8:00 pm- Realize it’s been a couple days since I’ve checked my blog email…whenever my to-do list gets too long it gets shoved to the bottom! Oh to have more than 24 hours in a day!
9:00 pm – I start to get a headache, so I know it’s time to just quit even though I still have a million things to do. I notice that when I’ve been staring at my computer for too long, it leads to migraines and we all know those are just awful. I’ve found its better to just stop when I feel them starting than to be miserable. I head to bed and pray for a better night of sleep!
Phew! Did you make it through all that? Tell me your thoughts…do you think you would like being a professor?