We have received many responses to our blog post regarding workload and stress. Below is one, posted with permission but with the name removed.
As part-time faculty, I taught 5-6 classes, then was hired as full-time faculty. I now teach 7 courses each semester which are weighted at 17.5 credits.
All classes in my department have between 12-19 students, and there is homework and advising each week. This past fall, in the first 7 weeks of the semester, I averaged 34 hours a week of out-of-classroom grading time in order to stay on top of my classes. I know this because I kept track on a spreadsheet through October until I stopped tracking because it was taking up too much time. To date, I still grade at home most Fridays, Sundays and Mondays all day. I am not a slow reader, I am a fast typer, and I do all my grading and assignment reviews electronically via OL.
Because of the nature of the courses I teach, the subject matter must stay relevant which means I also must try to stay current and abreast of what's happening in the music industry. My classes are discussion/lecture based with writing-based homework, in-class activities, reading, and a quiz each week.
Even with the hours spent grading I will say that I love my job, I love my students, I have terrific departmental colleagues and a concerned chair (who is also overworked). I feel blessed and proud every day that I work at Berklee. However, if it were not for the fact that in a few years I plan to take my summer off, I'm not sure that I could keep going at this pace. Just ask my husband - he is basically a bachelor almost every weekend while I grade, and grade, and grade. The worst part is that I have very limited time for practicing and thus, my performing has definitely taken a hit.
So, I don't know what talking about all this accomplishes, but thought I'd respond. The hours I and my colleagues spend grading are under discussion in our department, and we are trying to address the situation. My hope is that as I become a more experienced teacher, I will also come up with creative ways to lessen the work load (although if you have 30 - 45 writing assignments per section per week, there is no way to cheat reading/reviewing each one and giving feedback).
Thanks for listening - I am always impressed with how much the union does for faculty and know this is an especially important year,