Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Getting loaded.

Course loading for each semester is a puzzle-like process in which everyone in the department gets assigned his or her teaching load for the upcoming year.

See my previous post about the language of loading.

Goals to be achieved: 1. All the courses offered those semesters have to be taught by SOMEONE. 2. All the faculty should get the time they request; i.e. whether they are full-time or 3/4 time. 3. The courses, of course, need to be taught by someone qualified to teach them. 4. Resources such as research courses (where you "teach" a course on research primarily by having a few students in your lab) need to be rotated fairly among the faculty.

This is not a trivial puzzle to solve. Moreover, there are faculty that have pet courses (I am one), and that's generally taken into consideration.

My load for this year
My pet course = 6 hours
A co-taught Gen-Ed course = 3
Adv. Cool Science = 4
(13 hours total)

My pet course II = 5 hours (one less lab section, therefore one less hour load)
A course I'm teaching as a sabbatical replacement = 5 hours
A co-taught lower level Cool Science course = 1
(11 hours total)
= 24 hours for the year = full time status.

Since I am only loaded for 1 hour for the Cool Science course, that means I will be responsible for about 1/4 of the work. My co-teacher and I carefully plan so that happens.

Next year, the co-taught Gen. Ed. course is being dropped, and the Advance Cool Science course is only taught every other year. So we have to replace those courses in my schedule.

Next year, I will have:

My pet course I = 6
Adv. Interesting course = 5
Total = 11

My pet course II = 6
Research Course = 3
Non-science majors fru-fru course = 4
Total = 13
Year totals = 24, full time.

This is the edict that my Dept. Chair gives. He's considerate when he does loading. Moreover, I always try to be accommodating, even as I get more experience and feel like I can ask for more. Frankly, I'm not so enthusiastic about the non-science majors course. However, I'm cogitating (meditating?) on the fact that many of the students who take this course are Education majors, so I am really ensuring the quality of my child's future education, right? Don't change my mind, I'm trying to be positive.

Looks like this is getting long, so I'll have to leave "release time" for another post.

1 comment:

  1. I taught a non-majors course. It was really fun! You don't have to worry about covering all the things the students might need for upper division courses. I also used popular lit (Michael Pollan, EO Wilson), environmental issues, etc., which I might not have dared to do in majors courses. My course was very small so we could be really interactive and the students got really into it. It turned out great. I hope you really enjoy it.