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!