2012-10-05

Exemption from teaching on sabbatical

My long-awaited first sabbatical started this week. I am really excited that I will finally be able to have one whole academic year exempt from teaching (and bureaucratic obligations). This does not mean that I do not like to teach. I will surely miss the thrice-a-week opportunity to interact with motivated students. But I have been feeling more and more strongly in the past few years that I am getting worn out.

I started teaching in the university in October 1991, when I was still a PhD student at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Since then I have been teaching for 21 years with no sabbatical. It was only eight years ago that being on sabbatical became a possibility since I was "saved" by Bar-Ilan University.

The main reason why I have been feeling that I am getting worn out is that my "output" in teaching has already exceeded the "input" I made previously, that is, I have been feeling as if I were in "overdraft" pedagogically.

In addition to studying the Talmud at a yeshiva and working on one project of mine, I want and have to recharge myself with new and/or more knowledge in those areas in which I have been offering courses, whether obligatory or elective, including morphology, lexicography, sociolinguistics and onomastics. I am sure that this one-year period of "input" will benefit not only myself but also my students-to-be after the sabbatical.