Thursday, March 19, 2009

Is GirlProf in control of her schedule?

Interesting question - am I in control of my schedule? As a professor, I do have the option to schedule certain meetings and tasks; I am also subject to the schedules and availability of others. University and Faculty level committees are usually scheduled far in advance and without consulting every member affected -- so, no control. If a PhD committee needs to meet, the chair needs to coordinate three professor's and the student's schedules - therefore, I have some control, but not unlimited control. My classes are scheduled by others, as are division meetings. So, when I look over my daytimer, I have some discretion over the times not affected by University, Faculty and Division level committees and meetings, centrally scheduled courses, and "found" times for group meetings. In reality, that doesn't leave too many discretionary time slots.

When I do have unscheduled time, I have to schedule my other tasks:
1. Editing an academic journal
2. Writing papers, chapters, articles, my blog
3. Conducting research
4. Writing reference letters, external evaluations, peer reviews
5. Reading scholarly literature
6. Meeting with research team
7. Presenting at conferences
8. Updating my website
9. Responding to email, phone calls, mail
10. Finding and acquiring good sources
11. Planning for teaching
12. Grading student assignments
13. Responding to student work
14. Watering the plants in my office
15. Sharing the odd coffee or lunch with colleagues

Most days it just feels Busy, Busy, Busy.


Anonymous said...

I am so glad you created this blog. I am a ED Tech teacher in a k-8 school. I am considering trying to move to the college level. I have been trying to find out about professor schedules and duties, had no luck until I came across this blog. You have helped a lot by sharing your experiences.
Is your salary worth it?
Do you ever get any personal time?
Would you work that job with school age children?

GirlProf said...

Great questions, K-8 EdTech teacher. Even though I write about the challenge of finding balance as a female professor with a family, I also enjoy my work and believe that the salary is reasonable. That said, there are many in eLearning Organizations and school principals who are paid much more than me, and few who are paid less! Inside joke. Is my salary worth missing the first time my son tied his shoes? No. Do I make enough to compensate for getting home after the kids have gone to bed? No. But, I think many mothers, in many occupations, struggle daily with the guilt that comes with the trade-offs between employment and family. Finally, in response to your last question: almost all of my research work is done in schools, with teachers and children. The way that I have designed my research program is a deliberate attempt to maintain a connection with what is happening in schools - that is where the neat action is, in my humble opinion.