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Managing Expectations

This is probably an annual exercise that I go through each year as the new school year looms in front of me. I need to manage my expectations for how much work I can get done during the day or any week. Of course, as an educator I have to constantly manage my expectations about student work and it has to vary between the first year student and the honor’s student.

Thinking of students~ I’m always amazed at how few will complete the assigned readings. Some students will share that I just need to assign less if I want them to complete the readings. Well, I have trimmed the numbers of readings over the years and still find that I’m in the same situation. This term, I’m actually contemplating no exams in the third year level course and more of a focus on writing and reading with different exercises. I like to mix things up for them and for me.

One student comment noted why so many of our classes have a student presentation component. It’s not busy work. I feel it is important for the students to give presentations in front of their peers. And, I speak to good or strong presentations in letters of reference or on the phone as a job reference. So, I will not cut that assignment out of the course outlines.

I am thinking of ways to work smarter and I am not sure if a day dedicated to my own projects will work. Instead, I find that few hours blocked out makes more sense–a day can slip away during the 13 week term. I don’t have the answer, as each term is so different, but I know that it’s a continued struggle to manage my own expectations about my productivity. These next two years I’ll have ¬†reduced teaching load, but my administrative work and attendance at campus wide meetings will increase markedly. I know that managing my expectation will continue to be an ongoing exercise.

How do you manage your expectations? And, how do you manage your productivity?

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