Wednesday, October 8, 2008

The Dreaded 24-Hour Professor Phenomenon

Recently, I realized that I have become a 24 hour professor. I tried to avoid this phenomenon, but I think that it is inevitable at this point. On Friday, I finished grading my students' speeches on blackboard at 11:30 p.m., but I did not get finished with class-related items until 3:00 a.m. The next morning, I woke up at 6:00 a.m. to post the midterm review.
Despite my weekly scholarly research, I teach four classes a semester. In addition, I have a thirty minute commute to campus. I LOVE my job and I keep a very organized schedule, but there are not enough hours in the day to finish everything that I need to finish.
Most nights, I respond to e-mails and instant messages (related to course material) from students until 11:30 p.m. The negative aspect of the phenomenon is that I should know better. I conduct research on computer mediated communication and the impact that this type of communication has on the educational environment.
According to Jeffrey Young (2002), a writer for the Chronicle of Higher Education, "The growth of e-mail, course Web sites, instant-messaging software, and online courses has forced many professors to rearrange their daily routines and has made them more accessible to students than ever before". I complete agree with this statement. My Sunday evenings (before speech days) used to consist of Desparate Housewives (DHs) and spending time with my family, but now the first day of the week includes DHs, spending time with family and blackboard/instant messenger.
I am definitely going to have to minimize my computer mediated communication (CMC), because next semester I will teach my second online-only class. This will be interesting and I hope to have a life as well. As a result of my hope for less CMC, I decided NOT to add a wireless PC card/service to my computer. If I added this feature to my computer/wireless account, I would NEVER be able to take a vacation again. I experience a sigh of relief when I carry my computer to a hotel that charges for internet services. If I have to pay for the internet, I buy one 24 hour session and finish all of my work during that period.
This week, I plan to minimize my 24-hour professor tendencies. We shall see how the fruits of my labor (or lack thereof) will impact my 24-hour professor phenomenon.

Millennial Professor

Young, J. R. (2002, May 31). The 24-hour professor. The Chronicle of Higher Education website. Retrieved October 8, 2008, from

1 comment:

  1. I feel the same way.

    What happened to work/life balance?

    One of the first things I do when I get home from work is check my work email!


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