Summer WorkPosted: June 4, 2012
It looks like I have a pretty busy summer ahead of me. I’ve known that for a while. I signed up to take two courses for my M.Ed. Neither relates to math education, the topic I originally planned to focus on when I applied to the program, but I’ve stopped worrying about that. So that will take up twelve hours every week in class and a few more hours reading and writing assignments. In undergrad, instructors told us we should spend one hour working outside of class time for every hour we spent in class. Does that same rule apply in graduate studies, or does the out of class time increase? I don’t think I actually followed that rule in undergrad, but I suppose I could try doing it this summer. So that makes a total of 24 hours working on my M.Ed. every week. Like, one day, but spread out.
Then, I need to spend a fair bit of time over the summer reworking my courses for next year. I was disappointed with how a few of them went, so I need to make some changes. Maybe I can spend another 12 hours each week doing that. I have about ten weeks of vacation, so that makes a total of about five spread out days. I can’t tell if that’s a lot of time, or just a little. I guess I’ll find out at the end of the summer.
Finally, I have one more thing I’ve scheduled, and at the moment it’s the thing I’m most excited about. I signed up for something called Teachers Write!, a virtual summer camp for teachers and librarians who want to improve their writing and, I think, by extension, their teaching of writing. I never had much trouble learning to write. Maybe I had really good teachers or maybe I just have enough natural skill, or maybe it was a combination of the two, but it always came pretty easily to me. Obviously there’s a lot I can improve on, but I don’t need to think too hard about how to write, and that means that I have a hard time articulating what students need to do to improve their writing, both in constructing an argument and in making their prose sound nice. Last winter, I took a course in Expressive Writing for my M.Ed., and I learned a lot about writing in general and teaching writing, and I think I have more to learn. So I’ll give that about five hours every week.
So, that makes a total of 41 hours every week this summer. A full work week. And on top of that, I think I might have some students to tutor. I guess I really won’t have a vacation this year. But maybe, if I stick to this plan, I’ll develop a little more self-discipline, and I’ll have an easier time getting my work done on time next year. Of course, I know my style, and I can quite easily see myself starting out with great intentions, and then making excuses and letting things slide, maybe even less than a week in. So I’ll need to find a way to combat that. Maybe I’ll write about it. Maybe I’ll buy myself rewards. Maybe I’ll tell everyone the awesome things I’m doing and hope that they ask me for updates frequently, so that I feel guilted into actually following through. I don’t know. I hope I figure it out.