Sunday, October 5, 2014

Weekends, Holidays, and Teaching

"That moment when you find yourself saying, "I need a longer weekend to get all this work done!" ‪#‎glamorousacademia‬ ‪#‎solidarity‬ - from the Facebook feed of a veteran

That was one of the first posts I read this Sunday morning between slurping my coffee an marking papers. I nodded, half out of agreement, the other to clear the cobwebs out of my head, cleanse my mental palate, before diving into next pile of papers to grade. 

So when I read today's question, "What role do weekends and holidays play in your teaching?", I harrumphed, "Weekends? You mean grading and prep hours? Holidays, the days I prep for the next day, month, or semester?" 

Professional Development: I spend a good of deal of time reading up on the articles I've saved over the week, catching up on posts from educational resources that I've compiled over the week. Occasionally I'll have some sort of formal program to attend - as I did yesterday and the Saturday prior. The weekends, then are partly about sharpening the saw. 

Grading/Prepping: Without the weekend, I'd be SO BEHIND. That's the life of a teacher. Luckily prepping is one of my favorite activities, so it's almost a luxury to have large blocks of time to plan lessons. As for grading, it's not about finishing. It's about keeping my head (scalp?) above water. The weekend, then, is about getting my job done. 

Recreation:This weekend was typical in that I reserved (or ended up) relaxing doing what I like. This weekend, that was about lolling about in bed watching Netflix. This weekend, I caught up on the new series How To Get Away With Murder, a Shonda Rhimes-tastic new series featuring Viola Davis as a lawyer and professor with a novel andragogical approach. I'm hooked. The weekend, then, is about decompressing. 

Relationship: The weekend is also one of the times where I do my damnedest to spend quality time with my husband. During the week, our schedules don't overlap much, but on the weekends, we have at least a couple of six or eight chunks of time we could do something special. This weekend, because of hot weather in San Diego and the fact we have no air-conditioning, we spent the night at at air-conditioned hotel. I admit I did do some school work in the hotel room, but for the most part, we had a nice little stay-cation. The weekend, then, is about grounding myself emotionally by keeping my relationship healthy. 

I see I need to be a bit more intentional about how I manage my time on the weekends. The to things I do to decompress are largely unplanned, and aren't really about a real outside interest. And with regards to time with my husband, I risk way too much when (not "if") I put work before him. Just as I set aside time for work, I need to protect time for decompressing, a formal avocation or hobby, and my relationship. That would be healthier, more balanced. This is the second blog post challenge from TeachThought that's got me thinking about balance. Perhaps its time do do more than reflect . . .