Tuesday, February 03, 2015

Show Your Work

In response to the social discourse these days about how little faculty folks work, one of my colleagues has come up with a brilliant idea. 

We have to put little calendar things on our door to show when we're in class and when our office hours are.  We've done that for ages, though recently we've moved from a little index card sized form to using a regular sheet of paper with a weekly calendar filled in, so that it's way easier to see.

My colleague's innovation is to also give information about all the other work zie needs to do, whether every week or at various times.  So, for example, zie shows committee meetings on the calendar, and grading and prep time, research time, and also has a list of stuff for advising and other "seasonal" sorts of tasks, with information about them.  The list talks also about grading in evenings and weekends.

Zie shared the idea with the rest of us, and now our doors give students and anyone who passes by a much better sense of how we use our time.

Do you folks put up weekly calendars?  What information do you include?  Does your calendar tell the "whole story" of your work week?

I heard that one local chair is putting hir weekly work totals on the department facebook site, which students and others can see. 

Get the story out there, beloved colleagues.  We work more than six or nine or twelve hours a week, even if those are the times we spend in a classroom with students.


  1. I like the idea in theory but in my department it would very quickly become an 'I work more than you do' competition - there's just too much macho around the place (independent of the actual gender or biological sex of the competitors)

  2. It's an interesting idea. . . I think hard to do, but good suggestion. Given your gov, a very useful one.

  3. Anonymous9:19 PM

    I like this idea! It is hard for students to imagine what their professors do all day. This will help.

    I'm also suddenly nostalgic for those little cards we had at GU. It was so exciting to become a TA and get one of your very own. I think I still have one saved somewhere.

  4. It might act as a deterant for unsuspecting students going to grad school so they can get the "easy" life of a professor.

  5. Anonymous6:03 AM


  6. Thanks for the link, Anon. Much appreciated.