A question for those who teach.

Do you ever get to the point where if you haven't checked your syllabus within the last few hours, you have no confidence that you actually know what day it is?

Or is it just me?

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I never check my syllabus. Luckily my students remind me all the time :)

@ Chris
...for those of us lucky enough to have teachers who operate by syllabus. The illusion of structure and schedule presented at the beginning of the semester does not a confident week of finals make.

I have the same issues...when I check my syllabus, I realize I'm so--far behind...Thank goodness tomorrow is the last day of classes!!!! :)

I never check the sylabus in some of my courses. I live by the syllabus in others. The first category includes small enrollment courses. The second category includes the large enrollment freshman courses that have a curriculum coordinated with several other instructors. The syllabus doesn't help me know what day it is.

I worked 18 hours in the lab two weekends ago however. With no break in my schedule, I was clueless of the day for the next week. My biological weekly clock was broken.

I have to re-set my weekly rhythm every semester since the mix of classes and their timing changes. It takes two or three weeks before I know what I'm doing.

I can teach the principles and details of glycolysis, citric acid cycle, and electron transport off the top of my head. But I don't necessarily know where the heck I need to be at ten AM on Tuesday.

All the time. This is an even bigger problem because I'm teaching two low enrollment courses, with pretty much the same students in each. One meets M,W,F and the other is T,Th. Our discussion topics are the only things that help me know what day it is.

I'm always off schedule in my upper-level classes. (And I regularly decide to skip talking about this or that detail, in a futile effort to stay on syllabus!) This year, we had three days of class cancelled due to snow, and I may have actually made the notes necessary to let me fix the syllabus and give the right amount of time to each subject...

Starting day 2, usually. Unless I have a TA, then I just ask the TA.

One semester, I taught two large general education sections which met on MWF an hour apart. I would generally ask someone in the front row where the previous lecture had ended. What I found was that the second lecture would go faster (better organized?) than the first lecture unless I paid attention and slowed it down.

By Jim Thomerson (not verified) on 25 Apr 2008 #permalink

In my big 100-level class (two sections, ~400 total) I must keep abreast of the syllabus to (a) make sure I cover the needed material, (b) keep the two lectures in sync, and (c) know whether or not I'm falling behind and by how much. Usually I'm no more than a day behind the syllabus, and I've built in several special-topics days that allow me to catch up when I do fall behind. Of course, since the syllabus was handed out on the first day of class and is posted on line, most of the students have absolutely no idea what the lecture will be about or when the quizzes will be held. In my smaller classes things are a lot more flexible and I am much more likely to be winging it.

By Hairy Doctor P… (not verified) on 26 Apr 2008 #permalink