A few weeks back, I read an article on the Chronicle about the frustrations of managing your time as a new faculty member. The author pointed out that you can spend hours figuring out where to get a key, or finding the location of the faculty meeting.
After all this time spent in college, we know the drill: students can drop and add classes up till a certain date, and after that, they need the professor’s permission. Some classes have prerequisites, and/or are restricted to majors only. Advising and registration open on certain dates.
These things are pretty consistent across colleges.
The adventure begins when a student asks “will you sign me in to your class?” Even if the answer is no, you’re reminded that you don’t know the procedure here at your new school. Is there a paper form? Is it online? Where? If the course is restricted to majors, and a non-major shows up on your class list, what happens? Do they get de-registered? Am I supposed to tell them to drop the class?
I’m also having a huge learning curve with my school’s online course sites. I was a whiz at Blackboard, but we have a different system here, and it’s challenging to learn. I feel like I’m becoming a pest to the tech guys. Then there’s the mundane stuff, like getting a parking pass and a university ID.
My new colleagues have been very helpful, and it’s impossible to train me on every little nuance of the job, right out of the gate. Some issues we’ll have to tackle as they come along. But these things are making time management a challenge - I’ll think I have four hours to work on course prep, then one of these little issues comes up, and there goes the morning.
I keep telling myself, next semester will be smoother. But for now … I’m the one carrying the campus map, just like the freshmen.