I am rubbish at marking.
Alright that might be a bit harsh. I am bad at motivating myself to do it.
I know it’s important to do it as the kids need to have specific and targetted advice on how they can improve if we ever hope that they can make progress. However, the thought (or worse the action) of sitting down with 28 books and a green pen after a hard day, if I am honest, repulses me. Normally by 3.05pm I am wiped out and I’d rather do anything other than sit there for two hours marking.
Unfortunately this meant that before Christmas my books were not as well marked as I would hope. They met the department marking policy but I felt that my comments were too brief and I wasn’t convinced the kids had enough to actually know how to improve.
So post Christmas I have begun a new plan. 10 a day. Instead of ever sitting down with a whole set of books I set myself the challenge of marking 10 books every single day. First off, this is hugely achievable. I set up the 10 at the start of the day and then every time I have a spare 5 minutes (before school, at break or at lunch) I can grab one and mark it, therefore by 3 o’clock I normally only have about 6 left. This isn’t too much to do after school and even if I still have the full 10 it doesn’t take too long. Secondly only doing 10 means I am not getting bored and actually give each book the focus and attention it deserves.
I’ve been able to keep this up for two weeks so far and it’s been easy. But it’s had a huge impact on learning in classes as I have felt that the students appreciate the extra feedback they get and are working harder as a result and this has literally been a minimal change in practice for me. I’ve been banging on about it so much at school I’ve nearly sold a few others on the idea too! Try it out and let me know how it goes.