Autumn is a glorious time of year with the change of seasons. In most states this is signaled with leaves transforming into burnt sienna, amber, and goldenrod spectacles to behold. After working long hours during the busy summertime, I am ready to hit the road for a little adventure. Are you game for a short getaway? How many teachers have the luxury of taking their classroom on the road? If you are interested in a quick escape, read on.
Choose-your-adventure. First you need to determine how much time you will be away from your regular home office. I planned a weekend camping exploration in my city of San Antonio, Texas. By choosing the local KOA, I found a cozy cabin with free Wifi and electricity to make my connection to my classroom. With KOA locations all across the country, you are sure to find one anywhere you desire by visiting (https://koa.com/). Get your work done between swimming and roasting marshmallows by a bright campfire. Sneak in an hour or two where you can.
If camping is not your idea of fun, you can make your classroom and office portable while traveling to a comfy B & B. Most wireless phone carriers now have a cool device to plug into your laptop to use the Internet while meandering down the road. In my area there is Clear 4G network (http://www.clear.com/) with nationwide coverage that enables me to surf the Web and log into my faculty portal from the car. Are you the driver? Yikes! You may want to limit your Internet use then. However, letting that special someone take the wheel will open up oodles of time for you to post to your students, grade papers, and perform course-related tasks before arriving at the destination of your dreams.
So maybe you’re wondering how you can take your papers and books with you on this adventure? Pulling off taking the job on the road does require planning and organization. Are you responsible for keeping office hours by phone? Let your students call a Google Voice number. You can set up a number for free (http://www.google.com/googlevoice/about.html) and have calls forwarded to your cell phone. This allows you to access those frantic phone calls without giving students your 24/7 phone number. Set the ring through times to correspond with your office hours. Any messages left when your number is offline will be transcribed into an email with a voicemail attached.
Lastly, we need to keep our papers organized while searching for high adventure and well-deserved relaxation. I have a massive black binder in which I categorize my various classes while traveling. All my grade sheets, student information, and calendars are neatly arraigned with a color-coded system. I purchased some neon Post-it sticky tabs and assign a specific color to each class. Try coordinating with the same shade highlighter pens for making notes on things that must be accomplished by a deadline. Separation pages are awesome to differentiate between colleges, and everything is streamlined for easy access in tight places.
It’s virtually impossible to be stressed out about student issues while you soak up the gentle autumn sun poolside or while making s’mores by a campfire.
Adjuncting on your schedule is where it’s at!