Thursday, 1 December 2011

Classes Next Semester


I received the list of classes that I'm most likely going to teach next semester.
  • 19th Century English Romantic Poetry
  • British & American Essays
  • English Prose Reading & Response Writing
  • English Short Stories
  • Literature & Visual Arts (Shakespeare Films)
  • Intermediate English Listening & Conversation
My basic contract requires me to teach twelve hours a week. I'm usually teaching fifteen or sixteen hours. This coming semester I'm requested to teach eighteen hours! The reason is that our department is losing three lecturers. One resigned, one was fired (or rather, his contract is coming to an end and the department chair told him that his contract will not be renewed), and another is going on a research sabbatical. With three less lecturers, us remaining professors need to carry the extra burden. 

The problem, however, is that this will again prevent me from doing any research of my own. The maximum a typical university lecturer teaches is twelve hours, usually less, with the assumption that they will also work on research and writing academic papers. Since I'm consistently teaching over twelve hours, my department does not expect any research output from me. And, of course, the extra hours I'm teaching count as overtime for which I get extra money, but unfortunately I'm not doing much for my academic career apart from gaining teaching experience in a variety of subjects. While this is a good way to solidify my base as a well rounded English literature lecturer, it is not doing much for my scholarly career. 

I'm teaching two new subjects next semester: Prose Reading & Response Writing and Short Stories. While I look forward to teaching new subjects, it means a lot of extra preparation, compared with classes that I have taught before. We have also chosen a new textbook for the Listening & Conversation class, so this class will also require extra preparation. The idea of teaching six overtime hours and technically three new classes has me exhausted just thinking about it. I had hoped to enrol into an official Korean language learning course next semester, but that seems unlikely now.

In the liminal space between the end of this semester and the beginning of next semester I will be teaching a Winter School class: Research Methodology. Again. Every time I teach I'm told that it will be the last time the class is taught. I really hope this will indeed be the last time. Although it is only a one credit course, it is terribly time consuming and needlessly stressful. 

2 comments:

Christine said...

Wow, I wonder if I know those three lecturers who are leaving. I guess you are still going to be in Korea for a while longer?
I am thinking of heading back to Korea. There isn't much here for me. I don't think I'll go back to Korea to stay indefinitely, it will most likely be just another year.

Skryfblok said...

I don't think you know them, although I may be mistaken. The two foreign lecturers have worked here for only a relatively short time (one year and two years respectively) and the professor going on the research sabbatical is one of the Korean faculty.

Good luck with your plans.