It has been a busy week. Not because of my teaching schedule, but because we went home to visit my family last weekend. It was a very good visit, but two days of travel always throws off my schedule. In fact, I did something today in one of my classes that was supposed to be done tomorrow because I thought today was tomorrow, not today.
Before we left, I did my best to work ahead where I could. I preposted my weekly video announcements in my courses so that they appeared to my students on the first day of the week. I added my school email accounts to my iPhone, so I could stay in touch with everyone when traveling. I also logged into my courses each morning on my laptop to respond to discussion posts and other issues concerning assignments. All of this helped me to stay on top of everything and maintain my presence in the online classroom.
This is one of the advantages I love about what I do. Thanks to technology, I can work from anywhere. I have graded discussions from Fort Lauderdale while vacationing at a beach resort. I have responded to my students from a bed and breakfast in the mountains of Colorado. I have posted grading comments while on business trips to Washington, D.C., and Atlanta. I am hoping to grade papers while relaxing on the beaches of Hawaii someday soon.
You may be asking why I work when on vacation or traveling. Well, the answer is simple. I teach 5, 6, and 8-week courses. In order for me to take time off without any work would require me to decline any offers to teach a course during the time I plan to be away. Essentially, I would have to take five to eight weeks off! While that would be very nice, it would hurt the pocketbook, if you know what I mean. So, the best thing I can do is plan to take some of my work with me when trips and other opportunities present themselves.
With proper planning and preparation, I can get away on a vacation or trip and spend only an hour or two each morning posting and responding to my students. This leaves the rest of the day to relax or spend with my family. This flexibility also means I can break away for day trips to the mountains or take off an afternoon to play golf or ride my Harley.
All in all, teaching online has many advantages.