Teaching, Researching and Beach-ing: Planning Your Academic Summer Months

reading list http://www.flickr.com/photos/hurricanemaine/For many of us, the month of May touches off a new http://www.flickr.com/photos/kjgarbutt/phase of the academic cycle.  For some of us, this change means shifting our focus to an ambitious research agenda.  For others, it’s adjusting to a shortened summer teaching schedule that comes with its own unique benefits and challenges.  And for others still, the summer months are a unique mix of research, teaching, and a much-needed break from our regular academic and service duties.  It may seem like you’ve got one long uninterrupted stretch of time to scratch off everything on your to-do list, but August will be here before you know it.

So, whatever your summer looks like, planning now to meet your work-related goals–and allowing yourself some time away from campus and computer–can be extremely beneficial.

Here are some things to think about…

If you haven’t done so already, pull out a calendar and divide your to-do list into a series of discrete projects.  Think carefully about pacing yourself appropriately and working around your other plans and priorities.

Setting realistic deadlines, slotting in work before play, and unplugging completely when vacation time comes, are just some of the nuggets of wisdom offered by Noah Shusterman in his recent Chronicle article on planning a productive summer.

The lazy days of summer can also be an ideal time to catch up on our pleasure reading.  Gina Barecca’s reading list from last summer’s Chronicle is one place to start if you’re looking for some literary escapism.  Looking for some engaging fiction with an academic bent?  Check out this list of new and old novels about professors and academics from Goodreads.com.

For those of you who plan to use your summer to design a new course—or rethink an existing course—we invite you to attend our Hands-on Approach to Course (Re)Design workshop that will be held on Thursday, July 11, from noon-2 p.m. at the Delphi Center.   This session will support you as you take an existing course—or use the goals you are formulating for a new course—and think through each component of the course with hands-on exercises to garner fresh insight and ideas.   More information and how to register for this session will be available on the Delphi website soon.  Mark your calendar now!

Tell us what you think!

What are your plans for the summer months?  What tips do you have for making the most of the months ahead?

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