I have been teaching E for sixteen years now. Pretty much every semester, and I include summers in that. I have taken two summers off in the time I've been here but other than that I teach E every year.
And it's starting to get stale. I've used the same textbook, though in different editions, since 2006. I like the textbook in some ways (it uses a lot of case studies, it doesn't shy away from the mathematical aspects of the field, it doesn't dumb-down) but there are other things I'm finding I don't love so much (it spends a LOT of time on a topic that could be more compellingly presented and which tends to take up a lot of time).
And I"m also getting a little fed up with E. Part of that is that a couple semesters recently, I've had classes with difficult people in them - either people who very clearly telegraph "I don't want to be here. You have nothing you can teach me" (I have one right now) or people who just have this ongoing string of PROBLEMS that lead to them begging me to let them make up multiple labs, even though, logistically, making up labs in this class is very difficult (and in some cases, impossible, unless I can recruit a few students to help the student making up).
Part of me would like to give the class to someone else for a few semesters. But,
1. This is kind of what I was hired for.
2. It would mean trading out with them and therefore doing a whole new prep, and so two people would be doing a whole new prep one semester. And new preps are kind of challenging.
3. There's also one person who might consider taking it on but I don't want to give it to them because of Reasons I don't want to go into here.
So I don't know. I talked to my Best Frolleague Forever about an unrelated topic (a class we team teach) and then brought up the issue. He agreed sixteen years is a darn long time to teach a class, but stopped short of offering to take it (I'd trade classes with him, at least for one I could teach). But he did suggest three things:
1. Taking time this coming summer and restructuring the class, maybe going to a whole new textbook (that's a thought)
2. Applying for a sabbatical sometime to revamp classes (that's a very, very long shot, and he's applying soon, so I don't want to poach on his territory). I'm not sure I'd deal well with a sabbatical, anyway: I get more done when I'm tightly scheduled than when I'm free. There's some kind of weird "I have all the time in the world!" attitude that kicks in, and I don't get nearly as much done as I plan on.
3. Talking with a couple of the people who teach the classes above it in the sequence, finding out what they want incoming students to know, what they don't care about so much, and retailoring my syllabus to more or less fit with that. (I am NOT, however, going to turn this into an ISSUES class, which I know one person would like. Issues are important and can provide useful case studies, but too many Issues-based classes are taught so that actual background knowledge is thin on the ground and you wind up with people who can opine a lot but not back it up, and I don't play that way)
I actually kind of like idea 1. There's a reasonable chance that because of staffing changes and financial aid changes, we will not have summer classes next year, and while I have the germ of an idea for a bigger research project I could do, I'd also have time to revamp a class. I could request sample textbooks from a bunch of different publishers (I am not ready to write my own, though some do that).
I also talked to him about my Problem Person. This is the one who acts too cool for school and who spent class the other day texting - and I let them, because it was preferable to the snarky comments and chitter chatter with seatmates they do otherwise. BFF said he did the same thing - so I'm not the only one who's given up on this person. I also asked BFF if he knew who the person's advisor was and he somewhat shamefacedly said that he was. I said, "Next time you meet with this person, could you have a Come to Jesus meeting with them?" (for non-southern-USers: a Come to Jesus meeting is essentially telling someone they really need to shape up and that their behavior is unacceptable. Or that's how I mean it.). He laughed and said he'd had several with the person already.
So it's not just me.
BFF also agreed, sadly, that this is someone (student in question is an XY person) who would listen more to stern input from another XY person rather than an XX person like me. Sad but true.
So, I don't know. Maybe cross off each day on the calendar until the end of the semester? BFF did say student in question is perilously close to being gone due to Academic Probation, so at least I'm not trapped in the Groundhog Day scenario of this person eternally repeating my class.
But I can tell it's souring me on the class, and that's bad. I have several people in there who are enthusiastic and who care and who are earning As and I guess I need to look at them while teaching instead of looking at this student.