Wednesday, April 23, 2008

The Teacher-al Tension

This week in my Paul course we are discussing Paul's eschatological tension. This post is rather like a therapy session as I feel the pressure of the end of the semester and the concomitant grading task and what I will call "the teacher-al tension".
While I am only teaching three courses, and this is a light load for some university profs, I have a total of about a 100 students. I have chosen to offer mostly essay based exams, because I think that these type of exams provide a better indication of the level of comprehension than do standardized type exams (e.g. Scantron). I do use the latter, but less often. This philosophy however creates a tremendous amount of work for me especially during the end of the semester when these are combined with grading research papers.
I find myself feeling the pressure of writing projects that can't be touched to say nothing of contributing to the blog. I sat this morning and wrote in my journal about the handful of smallish things I have going that are forced to the the back burner because of my teaching responsibilities. This is a constant tension for me and I am sure that I'm not alone. With a young family there is only so much time left for work and as our semester draws to a close in just a couple of weeks, I find that all my time is taken grading research papers and exams.
It is very difficult task indeed to live in the tension of teaching and writing. Still, it is a gift from God to even have the tension. Thanks be to God!

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