Monday, October 8, 2007


Grading, grading, grading... grating.
What's the solution? See, if the school says "it is anticipated that Faculty Member shall work no more than sixteen to eighteen hours per week"... does that mean that I should work no more than 16-18 hours per week on my school duties? Just cut off my time, whether I've completed the requisite tasks or not?

That would seem fair, wouldn't it? Bringing my hourly wage up to about $30. But the problem of course, is by hard limiting my time expenditure, the students are the ones who get short-changed. The university doesn't care. They don't seem to have any problem in short-changing the faculty, by hiring an ungodly number of part-time adjuncts at a low wage without benefits, and overloading the classes, so as to avoid hiring more, or giving adjuncts benefits and a more reasonable workload.

So, which is it, do I short-change myself, or short-change my students? Frankly, I can't see a way to involve and reasonably assess the students without requiring them to write! Of course, I could make the tests entirely out of multiple-choice, and short (word or phrase) answers. I could avoid actually reading their handed in assignments, and simply check them off as having been done or not. But then, perfunctory behavior like this on my part is short-changing them.

And, despite all this, I may just stick it out for another semester, continuing in the Spring. Could I really cut down my time commitment to 16-18 hours a week, without short-changing anyone? The preps will be easier, since I would be teaching exactly the same classes in the Spring. But the grading. Ah the grading! What's the point of teaching a class, if you don't expect the students to demonstrate their ability to reflect on and explain the concepts that they are ostensibly learning? What would be the point? I have no interest to go through the motions.

There's the dilemma.

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