The Demands of Teaching

by Jeffrey Rosenthal, January 2016

This semester I am teaching three university courses on special overload assignment, including a new course which is being developed from scratch with lots of competing interests involved. Although I only have 8 to 10 actual lecture hours per week (mostly to about 100 students each), I am finding the resulting responsibilities to be extremely time-consuming and stressful and sometimes overwhelming. So I decided to consider why this is so, by listing the various demands of teaching courses at university.

This, then, is a brief summary of some of the ways that teaching a university-level course takes lots of time and effort:

Some of these responsibilities (e.g. planning, writing, designing, creating) are much harder work when teaching a NEW course, or a course for the FIRST TIME, or a course that you are CHANGING quite a bit. In any case, all of these activities take a lot of time, and they all add up -- especially when teaching three courses at once.

And of course, this is all in addition to OTHER regular duties of a university professor, including:

So that is why we university professors are usually pretty busy!

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