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Managing marking workload

Discussion in 'English' started by Angelil, Mar 13, 2012.

  1. Angelil

    Angelil Occasional commenter


    (x-posted also to the Secondary forum)
    Hello everyone :)
    I've
    been teaching since 2008, which I started doing on a part-time basis,
    but through my own choice my hours have been steadily increasing (I now
    teach 17 hours a week instead of the initial 8 and I also do 2 hours a
    week of private tuition on top of this).
    With the increase in
    hours/classes has also come an increase in the size of my classes. My
    classes had about 20 and 8 students respectively when I started; those
    same 2 classes now number 33 and 20. In total I'd say I teach about 70
    students if I include all my classes and private tuition. On top of this
    I have 43 students in my homeroom to run around after!
    Naturally
    when I started I was able to take each child's book once a week and
    mark it fully with grades and comments. This is getting increasingly
    difficult to sustain (as you can imagine, teaching English means the
    written work often requires considerable commentary), especially given
    that I also have a very long commute (75-90 minutes each way) which
    makes me very tired.
    I am therefore trying to think of new
    strategies to manage marking. It's really my bugbear and I feel I spend
    all of my time doing it. I have already thought of some ideas (such as
    marking exams in class and seeing individuals afterwards, as they don't
    all need the same level or type of feedback), but would be really
    grateful for any more suggestions to reduce or streamline this aspect of
    the workload. I am an unqualified teacher so have never received
    instruction on managing this before and have just had to find my own
    way.
    Thanks in advance :)


     
  2. Angelil

    Angelil Occasional commenter

    caveat: don't get me wrong, I know a lot of people have a lot more than 70 students' work to mark, so I don't want to sound like I'm complaining toooo much....just wondering how they manage as I am starting to struggle.
     
  3. millicent_bystander

    millicent_bystander New commenter

    We have a guide of marking books every two weeks, if you set up a timetable so you're not taking all books in at the same time, it should be manageable.
    Also get students to self and peer-assess as much as possible, then you are merely verifying their marking and this can cut down immensely.
    Hope this helps!
     
  4. millicent_bystander

    millicent_bystander New commenter

    should read 'this can cut down immensely on your workload! Sorry [​IMG]
     
  5. mediadave

    mediadave New commenter

    I agree about peer / self assessment.
    Also, don't mark every piece of work. To me, marking is only valuable when it's done for the kids and not for you, your HoD or for SLT. So think about it from a kid's perspective: give them targets on specific pieces of work you've done in class to specific criteria. If the kids start a piece of work with a set target / success criteria, e.g. "in this piece of wriitng I must use a range of punctuation", mark it for punctuation and then give them a specific target. If the next piece of work was a summary, table or something fairly straightforward, then just check it over and tick.
    From a kid's perspective, getting your book back after the teacher's marked two weeks' worth of work, if every page has a target or comment you'll be overwhelmed and won't take anything in.
    If comments / targets are selective too, it's easier to refer back to them in the next peice of work.
     
  6. Angelil

    Angelil Occasional commenter

    Thanks for all the replies so far.
    I agree that I may be better off marking every 2-3 weeks, and on a rolling basis so that I don't have them all at the same time.
    Part of the trouble is that I see my Grade 7s every day so I don't have much time to mark their exercise books before I see them again, regardless of when I take the books.
    With the other groups it is easier as I always have a full day when I don't see them.
    I already don't mark every piece of work (am happy to just tick 'less important' stuff) but reckon I definitely need to focus more on peer assessment.
    Keep those suggestions coming :)
     
  7. Hi there,
    I would also recommend marking as you go on a daily basis, as kids work, you can do the ticks and give some verbal feedback which also aids learning. Peer marking and self-marking using rubrics is a great way (and it also aids social learning) to reduce your marking workload. As a teacher, only mark what's absolutely necessary. I hope it helps!
     
  8. thequillguy

    thequillguy New commenter

    I think that the core subjects have their own conundrums: ours is definitely marking (he says as he should be marking!) Science is, I think, the amount of content (although some of the exams require no science, just logic) and Maths - well, if you miss a concept in maths, it is near impossible to grasp something else. However, a student in English can bomb in Shakespeare but grasp the concepts in Of Mice and Men.
     

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