I am typically not a teacher who does things just to fill time. When I do group work, I do it because I think students need practice doing certain tasks, and that they learn by doing, as opposed to me doing for them. When I show films, I do so with a pedagogical purpose, typically forcing students to fill out worksheets and such and to really engage with the film as a literary text. In other words, I don't just show the movie version of the books that I teach, or whatever.
I don't cut corners by showing a movie instead of teaching, or give group work because I don't feel like actually teaching.
Except this week.
Because with the death of my father, with an upcoming conference for which I've not even begun the paper, with student research projects I'm supervising, I'm so ridiculously behind that I find myself having to fill time as opposed to teaching in the way that I know that I should. And I hate it. But I'm trying to cut myself some slack and to give myself permission to do this in the service of getting my shit together.
But it does make me loathe myself just a little bit. I'm a better teacher than this. I hate feeling so at loose ends that I can't do my job well.
6 years ago