Today is the start of Reading Week - no classes for four days following yesterday's St Patrick's weekend Bank Holiday. It is a welcome break for me after eight weeks in a row of classes. Most of this week for me will be spent grading Continuous Assessments. I also have the remainder of the semester to plan - though just four more weeks to go. This semester was my first ever with three evening classes, so it will a little strange going back to 9 to 5 for the week.
Reading Week is not just a break from classes. For students it is an opportunity to catch up on study, work on projects, and most importantly to take a break from classes. For faculty it is an opportunity to catch up on grading and class preparation - for some it will be an opportunity to concentrate on research, and most importantly to take a break from classes too. With Easter being so late this year we do not have the opportunity to have two Reading Weeks, so we need to make the most of the break.
The question is - despite above comments, it is worth it? Even the name "Reading Week" suggests that a lot of academic work is being done. No doubt there is much work being done - especially for those students in their final year, or those taking a one year course. But is it the same for all? For me I think that since it was introduced in the College that the break aspect of the week has become most important as semester fatigue sets in. In the week before Reading Week I often note a slight drop in attendance - I guess this is not surprising as it also the lead into a Bank Holiday weekend.
I do hope that students find the time for both study and a rest this week, and set themselves up for the last push before exams start on 1st May. Reading Week - make the most of it!