It’s reading week and so we don’t have to teach any lectures or seminars and, in theory at least, the students are using the time to diligently prepare their assignments! But what should diligent lecturers be doing?
For those of you running new courses this year or semester, reading week will probably offer you the first chance you have had since September to assess how the unit is going. Despite all your careful planning over the summer, I know from experience that chances are the unit isn’t going quite according to plan! Perhaps you might also be able to catch up on some lecture writing and get a few weeks ahead of yourself!
For those lucky lecturers like me who are on light teaching duties this year, now is the time to really get stuck in to some writing or research. OK, so you only have a week, but it’s still possible to produce a chapter of your monograph during that time if you’re really disciplined.
However, despite best intentions, you’ll almost certainly be doing an increasing amount of admin this week, and that of course eats into research and writing time. Perhaps you’ll be updating registers and chasing up students who haven’t been attending class. Or writing exam papers for next summer. Or maintaining the website for your course. Or even more disruptive than that, attending meetings in your department.
Perhaps if you have had a really hectic first few months of the academic year, it might be sensible to recharge your batteries ready for the long slog to Christmas. So, in most cases, academics will find themselves busier than ever this reading week, but sensible ones will fit in some ‘me time’ as well!