Monday, January 26, 2015


I went back to work in the fall of 2013. The department chair took it really easy on me and only assigned me two sections of college algebra. It had been over 3 years since I had taught the course and we weren't using the same edition of the textbook, so I had some work to do writing up a plan for what to cover in class, but I decided that it had been so long since I had taught I basically used exams that I had used the last time I had taught the course.

I prepped and graded either at night or while the twins were napping during the day and the only time I felt really stressed was at the end of the semester when I had to have everything done before we left on our Disney trip.

For the spring semester I was assigned to teach Calculus 2 and a course called Finite Math. Finite Math is pretty easy and encompasses a lot of things that come really easy for me, so even though I hadn't taught it for over 4 years at this point I wasn't concerned about teaching that. I was a bit concerned about teaching Calculus 2 - I hadn't taught it since Summer of 2008 so it had been almost 6 years and the material is not easy.

Sure enough, I spent every single night Sunday - Thursday after the kids went to bed re-teaching myself Calculus 2 so that I could teach it to my students. I also spent the twins' nap time usually working on grading, planning out homework assignments for both classes, etc. 

It was such a relief to be done teaching in May just because it was so much work. I was off all summer because summer classes are too intensive for me to teach with little kids.

For this past fall I was given 3 classes - College Algebra, Statistics and Trigonometry. I was excited to teach stats because it had been well over 6 years since I'd had a chance to teach it, but I knew that meant it would probably take a bit more prep work writing exams almost from scratch. I had never taught trig before and I was not very excited about it - I've never cared much for trig and I'd be doing everything from scratch.

Teaching 3 different classes was A LOT of work. I think I worked about as much last fall as I did in the Spring. And my trig students did horrible - worse than any of my students have ever done (although one student aced the class and a couple others got A's). 

I'm currently teaching 3 classes this semester, but at least two of them are the same course just 2 different sections. And I've taught all these classes very recently, so hopefully that means lots less prep time. I'm glad for the extra income in teaching 3 classes, but hopefully I'm not regretting agreeing to teach 3 classes by the time we reach the end of the semester.