When you are new to teaching, preparing class, and making sure you stay up to date with everything related to your class, may seem like a daunting task. You have new material to prepare, a course to structure, exams to prepare, homeworks and exams to grade, a time schedule in class to adhere to, and student questions to address outside of the classroom.
Estimating the time it will take you to stay on top of all the tasks that come your way when you start teaching is important. I learned this lesson the hard way in my first semester of teaching way back in 2014, when I put class preparation time, teaching time, and office hours on my calendar, but not time for replying student queries by email or that require a bit more research, or (big mistake) time for grading!
Many new lecturers are also on a tenure track, so keeping research and publications moving forward is crucial. In the first semesters, finding the time for research and writing was often a challenge, and I recall finding “only” 7 hours for these tasks on a weekly basis, distributed over 2 blocks of 2 hours for writing and 2 blocks of 1.5 hours for research. It was sufficient to keep moving ahead.
After a few semesters of teaching, I also become more efficient and knew how to best take advantage of my time. I’ve shared my best advice in those regards on this blog before.
To wrap up this post, I want to refer you as well to these references from the University of Chicago on course design, development, and organization. I hope you find these helpful!