My wife and I have just been notified that we may get children for adoption in the coming month (apparently, it comes at a much shorter notice than having a biological child...). The law allows me to take about 6 months of parental leave, which I will probably need very much. At the present semester I do not teach obligatory courses, and my teaching duties are mostly to advise students in various levels:
- I teach a new elective course for undergraduates, designed by me, where the grade is based on an individual project. There are 30 students.
- I advise some 10 teams in their final-year projects; 30 undergraduate students overall.
- I advise 3 master and 2 Ph.D. students.
Advising takes a lot of time for regular meetings and for reviewing the students' work. I spend about 50% of my time on advising (the other 50% I spend on preparing lessons for my course and writing papers). Most projects are research-oriented, and closely related to my field of research, so it is impossible to give them to another faculty member from a different field. Finding an external advisor from outside the university is also next to impossible. On the other hand, keeping the students "on hold" for 6 months is not fair for them.
During my parental leave, I can technically meet with students in Zoom and read their emails, but I will probably have very little time or mental energy for advising them at the same level they are used to. Also, I heard that the law forbids me to do any work while on parental leave. But this can probably be solved in some way.
What do other advisors do with their students when they are on parental leave?