Tuesday Teaching Question

Today’s question is a timely topic, given that we’ve just returned from a break, and it’s a two-fer, to make up for the Tuesday we weren’t here–namely, what is your position regarding work over breaks (and/or weekends) for students?

When there is a long holiday, do you assign extra work? Or are you of the position that students, too, have earned a little time away from their schooling tasks, a little time to get back to their families and their laundry and their social lives?

And what about regular weekends? Do you consider the difference in time when you give assignments? Do you give more work/longer readings/etc., on Wednesdays or Thursdays than you do on Mondays and Tuesdays? Should you? Why? Why not?

Justify yourself. Personally, I go back and forth on the issue, but I never feel right on those times when students have to take an exam or turn in a paper the week after Thanksgiving or whatever. I know that some of them appreciate having the time available to dedicate to the task (time that would “normally” be taken up by classes and work and the rest), but I’m sure that some of them–especially our students with families to take care of–need a little space to recharge amid the 16 week marathon. And so, I turn to you, my trusted peers…convince me so that I might be better henceforth!

One thought on “Tuesday Teaching Question

  1. Good question!

    I usually set due dates for major projects right before the break and then spend my break grading….I need time for laundry too, but somehow it doesn’t work out that way. Sometimes I will offer an extended due date over the break for a re-write or something to that effect, but that is rare these days. I’m trying to design tighter assignments that have built-in feedback time so students get support through the process, but the due date is final. This means there is more time between when I assign work and when it is due. This seems to be working well. I usually teach classes that meet once a week so I don’t vary the amount of reading necessarily.

    I do think a break is a break or why should we have it?

    I actually would prefer to skip Spring Break and just have the semester end a week earlier, but that’s just me.

    Happy post Spring Break everyone!

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