The Exhausting Job of Teaching

Even though I had to use many strategies to sell semiconductors in Silicon Valley, it was nothing compared to the brain power I’ve had to use to teach a subject to college students well. A decade ago, I found advertising challenging. Dreaming up new ways to sell a product or service to corporate executives was exhilarating; still, it was nothing compared to finding ways to reach a student population of incredibly diverse abilities.

And professors do not “clock out” at 5 p.m. As one online colleague posted, “The work is infinite. There is always one more thing you could, should, would like to do.” The industry encourages workaholism. Professors that “do it all” are promoted and given tenure. Those that buckled under the need to publish, teach, do research, serve on committees, and do informal public relations work are pushed out of this tremendously competitive business. For many, it’s exhausting. —The Exhausting Job of Teaching (Inside Higher Ed)

I spent the weekend in bed. I’m on the mend, thank goodness, but during the time I was too ill to mark papers, I filled numerous pages with sketches of new ideas for teaching, made some excellent progress teaching myself Inform 7, created a game with Game Maker, and read SHU’s summer reading novel for this fall.

Truth be told, all of that was enjoyable and relaxing. I drove into work feeling like I’d been on a little retreat.

Of course, now I have to write my annual report (which is already late), and do more committee work. Oh, and turn in final grades. So I’m going to pay for it all. (Just as soon as I finish procrastinating a little bit longer…)

I’ll get through it all, I’m sure.

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