Grading overload

02/03/2015 21:17

Teachers crushed by expectations that they'll review and comment on all their students' work. Not only can this not be done within any reasonable workload limit, I think, it is also an ineffective use of time. I try to establish a pattern of regular well-spaced marking that is sharply focused.  When I lose control every so often, I just move on and get back into a regular rhythm. Even though it feels great to give out a set of freshly marked books, there are times when I just can't burn any more midnight oil. So I don't. If I use a healthy diet of peer and self assessed tasks, and give lots of verbal feedback during lessons, I'll find a level of marking that is effective and sustainable within the overall feedback mix. If I ever feel that I am only marking to satisfy the "monitoring bodies", rather than because it will actually help my students to improve within the flow of my lessons, then I will stop.

What stresses me is when I feel burdened by being over-directed. It depends on the school culture, but I do actually need to have a lot of autonomy and I need to use it. I like to make my lessons enjoyable for myself as well as my students; teach the fun stuff, tell the stories I want to tell, do things the way I want to. I like to make teaching joyful and follow my passions in some aspect of my live.