Teaching is a TARDIS

If you’re not familiar with Dr. Who’s home/time traveling device/constant companion then the idea that teaching is a TARDIS may not make sense to you but it’s not hard to get.

A TARDIS is bigger on the inside than the outside. Similarly, teaching takes up much more of your actual time than it looks like it will from the outside. At both my MA and PhD institutions a full-time teaching appointment was a .5 FTE, otherwise known as 50% Full Time Employment. We all signed contracts with the university stating that we were getting paid on the assumption that we were working on teaching tasks 20 hours a week.

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This is almost never true.

It’s particularly not true if you have a class you’ve never taught before, also known as a new prep.

Teaching expands to fill the space you give it and you will never feel that you’re doing enough.

For October, we’re focusing on streamlining your teaching without shortchanging your students so that you have more time to research and write your dissertation.

No one is writing syllabi in October so why would we put this series here?

For those of you in the semester system you’re approaching midterms. For those of you on the quarter system you’re likely approaching your first evaluative metric. In other words, the timing of the semester is about to provide you with some poignant lessons on what you want to do differently the next time you teach this, or any, class.

Maybe you realized that you gave yourself too much grading or that you need to give your students more background information to contextualize what they’re learning. Maybe you’re realizing that the readings you assigned were too simple or complex. Whatever it is, right about now, you’re probably thinking about some things you want to change about your class.

Well, we are here to help.

We’re putting this series here so that, as you realize you want to make changes we can provide some guidance on the how. We’re also putting this series here so that, in December, when you’re making your next syllabus, you have a full series to come back and read through.

We got your back.

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Topics we’ll cover this month include:

  • Why you should do less work
  • How doing less work will serve your students better
  • Letting go of professorial myths
  • Saving your time

We look forward to covering all of these topics in detail. If there are others you want to see covered just drop us a line in the comments!

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