Friday, May 28, 2010

Teaching VERSUS Research?

As a new semester begins, I am feeling the familiar pull of a common dichotomy: Teaching versus research. Already I have sat through hours of advising and registering to face classes which are overflowing and the rigors of daily summer classes for the next nine weeks. After two weeks of productivity on articles, research, and transcribing it is amazing how quickly the familiar TUG of the two areas of teaching and research start to pull on my time. Today my schedule included creating course syllabus and calendar for two on-ground classes and beginning to structure the modules for the online course. Somehow, the time is already flying away with the student communication and course needs. And so, I find myself wondering if my research goals will take the back seat to my teaching load this summer. I continue to struggle with the balance of my time between these two worlds and have developed several strategies that I am employing with vigor beginning the first day of the term:
- I will only check my email twice a day to avoid being pulled away from research work in "non-teaching" blocks of my time
- I have already scheduled (in my day planner) hours where I will be focusing on research. I will protect this time, making sure I don't schedule meetings or other work in those time frames.
- I will remain accountable with a research journal and by keeping "motivators" around me, other junior faculty who are striving for tenure. We will keep one another focused on our bigger goals.
- I will track my progress continuing to use my organizational grids for each semester.
- I will check in each week to see where I stand and to modify deadlines and dates if necessary.
- My office hours will be kept for teaching tasks (if no students attend) and answering emails to avoid excessive work at home.

Let's see how it works out...

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