13 December 2016

Try not to teach

No, this is not a new REM record. It's my life at the moment. I am now a casual worker for Sheffield university, and not connected to Bangor and its teaching. I made sure I finished marking the students' assignments within my contract; I then gave the scripts to James. I perhaps could have done that earlier as I mark online, but sometimes the digital version is a bit mangled and then it can be good to have the hardcopies.

James marks hardcopies. He noticed there were four students who had submitted a hardcopy, but not a digital version. I had not marked these! And of course, the marks have to be uploaded and released and attention needs to be drawn to them and whatnot. James is still not very comfortable in the online teaching environment. I sorted out the finalising of the online marking, the release of the grades, liaising with the students who had not uploaded anything, and, of course, the marking of the four more scripts I had missed. And then I took one afternoon off for my PGCertHE. 

Then there was a meeting about the future of the "physical" programmes we offer; a large part of that meeting would be what to do with James' departure. That matters for my future! Then there was a meeting on the PGCertHE. And there were timetabling issues; I was scheduled to give  a lecture in January, while I don't start the job until February, so something had to be swapped. That had to be organised too! And the exam for that module had to be updated. And then there were student presentations within the Palaeoceanography module; James has to mark them but he needs a second person. Only Paul and me are in that line of work. Neither of us are paid for that sort of stuff, but well, one likes to help out one's cherished colleagues, and it's actually a very interesting part of the module. The students might not be as keen as I am, but I think it's the best item of teaching I have seen. And I mean that in the sense of: one gets an awful lot of insight from them, but only if one puts the effort in. So how good the students find it is another matter. Anyway; Paul and I split the job in two equal halves so that was another day pretty much down the drain, financially.

By the end of the week I had managed to only put in 23 hours of paid work. I think I overdid it a bit on the teaching-related things! I want to get these Sheffield hours out of the way at a reasonable pace so I am left with some time for myself (read: for more work on my PGCertHE) before we hit February. I hope next week will be better!

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