This semester promises to be interesting. I'm teaching only two classes, rather than my usual three. The challenge, as I know from years past, is to make sure they stay in their respective lanes.
It's all too easy for anything we're invested in to take up more than its fair share of our time. Knowing this, I sat down last week and brainstormed what an ideal week would look like this semester, keeping a few things in mind.
I want to carve out time for the usual class prep and responsibilities, as well as a little extra for making some changes to existing assignments, things here and there, something I don't usually have enough time for when I'm on campus every day.
I want to make sure that I use my days off-campus intentionally. This might mean writing, or organizing, or something else entirely, but I don't want them to evaporate or drift away on a sea of meaningless tasks.
I want to make sure that I include down time in the mix, taking time to rejuvenate so I have energy for all the things I have planned.
This week, my first full week of the semester, will put this ideal schedule to the test. I've set parameters for the amount of time I devote to school responsibilities on non-teaching days, which means making sure my teaching to-do lists are duly checked off on the days I'm in the classroom. I've set guidelines for out-of-class meeting times, and created wish lists for those productive off-campus days.
Ideal or realistic? That remains to be seen. Right now, with three days in, I'm cautiously optimistic.