For the full-time academics out there, how many days a week do you teach?
I know there are two schools of thought with the popular one hereabouts being to pile up all your teaching on two, three, maybe four days so you have at least one reserved for research. The alternative model is to teach five days a week, spreading it out in smaller chunks.
At my undergraduate university, that could even be six days a week given the existence of Saturday morning classes (usually taught by grad students and sessionals, as I recall.
Because of family issues, I am unavailable for one time slot four days a week. It effectively blocks off many afternoon classes since running a seminar for three hours in the afternoon automatically runs afoul of my restricted time.
As a result, I’m pretty well resigned to teaching five days a week. It has the advantage of spreading matters out so I’m not teaching six hours one day followed by three hours the next and so forth. The disadvantage is that it really breaks up my days and, when the inevitable meeting requests come in, those bits and pieces of time are fractured even more.
At least this only lasts through December. Starting in January, I’m on my lighter term, teaching three classes instead of five (sure, one of these is a graduate level directed readings course but I feel completely justified in counting that as a course in that I have one student now pursuing a topic far afield from my research and I’ll have a second directed readings student starting in January in a completely different topic also far afield). I might actually get to keep Mondays and Fridays sacrosanct for research, except for when those pesky meetings interfere.
However you experience teaching, do you prefer to spread it out or bunch it up? Do you have any say in your schedule? How does it affect your ability to research and write?