My Epic Scheduling Mess-Up

News from the Trenches (NftT) 1

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Hi y’all, I just wanted to tell you about my News from the Trenches section of the podcast and website. This is basically the personal side of things where I share stories about the stuff that’s happening in my teaching life and get real with y’all about my own mistakes and issues. It won’t be published on any kind of schedule, just whenever something happens that I think is worth sharing with everyone.

Anyways, let’s talk about my super epic scheduling mess-up… Oh boy.

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Schedule Design Chaos

So, rewind time about a month ago. Yeah, I’ve been so busy with exams that I completely missed out on talking about this for over a month. Where did the time go?

My schedule this past semester was a little weird because my grad students had a regular schedule of 90-minute classes for 16 weeks, while my undergrads had a delayed start meaning 135-minute classes for only 10 weeks.

Also, for my Friday classes, Week 16 would fall on January 1st, which is a holiday, so those classes actually finished in Week 15 on Christmas Day.

Somehow, when I was organizing the order of my lessons, I remembered that my Friday grad students need to get the exam info in Week 12, but completely spaced on the fact that my Friday undergrads would also need the exam info that week.

Week 12 was the week that I was assigning a major project for all my undergrad classes. It would be their last big assignment of the semester.

So, about 7:30 on Friday morning in Week 12, as I’m driving to school, it finally hits me that I’ve messed this up. Unfortunately, with so few weeks left in the semester, there was absolutely no viable way to fix it. The only option was to push through.

I apologized profusely to my poor students and then proceeded to cover two full lessons—both of which normally require every second of the class time to adequately teach—in only one day.

We survived and my students thankfully did well on both the project and their exams. But it was nevertheless a stressful and completely preventable situation that could’ve been avoided with better planning.

I’ll definitely be double and triple checking my lesson plan order next semester.

I’d love to hear from y’all. What’s the most epic scheduling mess-up you’ve ever had? Or at least the most recently memorable.

Happy teaching!

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