I am partway through the summer teaching experience, and I have been reflecting on the pros and cons of teaching summer school classes while preparing to leave the job and the state. Here is a small list:
PRO: Less time to be sad, as free time is spent preparing for and teaching class
CON: Less time to pack and prepare the house for the move
CON: Summer school never really pays enough, as it is only a percentage of my regular salary. But money is money.
PRO: Spending time with students who are interested in the course topic and using our extensive time together to quickly build a sense of community.
CON: Grading. ‘Nuff said.
PRO: Evenings and most weekends are mine.
CON: Getting up early in the morning in the summer is just lame.
PRO: Parking is easy on campus in the summer, as most students and faculty are gone.
CON: They don’t have the air conditioning turned to a reasonable level, and my classrooms are terribly warm during the high heat outside. It is difficult to be fun, smart, and engaging when your clothes are sticking to your body, and the students are struggling to keep their sweaty faces from falling down on their desks.
PRO: Hanging out and chatting with staff members who are not quite as busy as during the school year and who are happy for some (faculty) company.
CON: Never seeing other faculty on campus and feeling like the only one who is working in the summer.
PRO: Being energized by great discussions and learning by students.
CON: Being physically, psychically, and emotionally wiped out as we leave to drive across country and get ready for the new job. 100+ hours of teaching in one month–all of it in multi-day, long-ass stints–is sure to take a serious toll.
I am hopeful that the 2 weeks I have between when I arrive in my new town and when I start the new job will be restorative enough that I can hit the ground running (as opposed to crawling). I will try to make sure I do positive things in the new place, like get a massage and a pedicure, and perhaps spend a little time reading books on the Kindle. I am planning to adopt a strict, no work plan for that time, as well.
So, just a few more weeks of teaching, and then we make the big move!