I have a confession to make. I actually like teaching at 8 a.m. (and by 8 or any other time I say, I mean XX:10–we go from 10 after the hour to the hour. MidWest University completely threw me by starting on the hour and going until 10 til, but I digress) or, when I was teaching composition, 7:00 a.m. I am teaching Shakespeare’s Comedies at the neighboring university this Winter. (I’ll write more about that soon. One day in, so far so good.) It was originally scheduled for 9:00, but I asked for 8 so I could get to 10:00 commitments on W and F at the church. No doubt about it, 9:00 is nice, and probably slightly less stressful in the morning, but there are a few advantages to 8.
8:00 classes force me to be completely ready for everything the night before: lesson planned, clothes put out, lunch in the fridge, etc.
The work day (at least that physical-on-campus part of it) can be over at 9.
There is no class the hour before in the room, so I can walk in and set up at my own pace, and be ready to go at 8:10. (This is a surprisingly big deal.)
The students are fresh, sleepy maybe, but mentally ready to go.
Parking is a piece of cake.
I don’t try to do a bunch of things before heading out. I’m more focused.
I like the early morning campus. Not too bustling yet.
The one thing that makes it possible is that Granddaddy Nanny has reclaimed his position, so I don’t have to get the kids ready to go. I make WordGirl’s lunch and set out clothes, but I get to leave the actual getting ready to someone else. If GDN weren’t here, it would be a world of difference. I’d be getting ShyGuy up and taking him to preschool early on my way to the university. Do-able, and lots of people do it, and it’s what I had expected to do, but I’m pretty grateful I don’t have to. So, Thanks Dad.
Disadvantages: Sleepy students, possible traffic for them and me, having to have everything prepped the night before.
I should mention that when I was an undergrad, I was all about not starting my day until 10 at earliest and 11 when possible. Some quarters I didn’t have anything before noon or 1:00. I gained my love/hate relationship with mornings when I was teaching high school and had to be on campus at 7:00 sharp, every day, 5 days a week, 185 days a year. I reverted some in grad school until the girl child was born, and since then I’ve pretty much gotten an early start to the day, and liked it. (gasp!)