I rarely ever spend entire evenings marking. In fact, my marking is coming along quite nicely and I was even able to come home last night, cry a bit (because I suffer from bouts of depression) and then write a ‘weird’ story as an outlet for all this modern existential angst. In other words, I was gloriously human.
How do I make time for frolicking childishness and necessary outlets of human weakness? Well, I have a refined marking system. What I’m sharing is based on the fact that I’m a teacher of English. Nonetheless, I think many of the principles are cross-curricular, as it were.
- NO ‘tick and flick’
- Put student names on a list for bad presentation rather than writing notes in their books and then have that conversation during a lesson.
- Use codes in the marking – EOR (effect on reader) etc
- Put codes in a Powerpoint for the next lesson
- Use guiding questions in the marking and make them aware of the reason/rule in a brief summative comment (my school uses www and ebw)
- Plan while you mark – when you mark you’ve got your next lesson planned. Have your planner or a PowerPoint open and create slides/activities as you see general class issues.
- Do a workshop lesson after you’ve marked. I use entire lessons to revise topics and to have the students rewrite work. You can also reuse past lessons that cover student weak areas.
- Extended writing – have the students draw a ‘Teacher Feedback’ box and then a ‘Student Response’ box after their work. Then, you’ll have space to comment and they’ll have space to rewrite work based on this feedback.
This is a Guest Blog submitted by Nicole Schmidt (@lessonhacks), originally published in 2015, and updated in 2019 by the UKEd Editorial team.