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Marking 3 pieces of work every day!

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by rolf33, Feb 13, 2011.

  1. Our school has recently started a 'children must write every day' policy in the literacy hour (at least 40 mins in my class!) Despite the obvious drawbacks for the other areas of literacy, I am now instructed that I have up to 30 pieces of writing to be marked daily. Given that we must have work in books for maths every day as well as other subjects, my average marking time is 2hours. That is after staff meetings and after school clubs and before I've even thought about planning, curriculum leader commitments etc.
    I have argued til blue in the face and am now coming across as awkward. Is this too much? Can I say that I have no time to complete any of my other obligations as a result of the new system? Help!
  2. Amylicorice

    Amylicorice New commenter

    You get this 'marking' done in two hours, wow. It is sooo much. My school decided that six books get marked thoroughly everyday- the rest got a tick, so the class was marked to a good standard every 4-5 days. And I find this works, and is reasonable. I tend to take home work on a Friday if the whole class have done a 'big writing' activity on that day- so that I can start fresh on Monday, but I know some teachers don't.
    But answering your question- Yes I think it is too much. You can itemise your other obligations according to time and make yourself a roster that can be your back up for when things are not completed on time.
    Hope this helped.
  3. minnieminx

    minnieminx New commenter

    I think if you are arguing from the point of view of 'it is too much work for me and so not fair' then you won't be listened to. If you can put together a good solid argument for why it is detrimental for children to write every day then you might be on to something.

    You could always get round this by asking children to neatly write the date, the LO and a sentence giving the (non-written) activity they did. Then a sentence self assessing how they got on. Then there is work in the book, the children have written, you have more or less nothing to mark, children have learned, so all are happy.

    Same in maths.

    Or you could alternate daily what you mark in detail and what children self/peer assess. No reason for you to do it all.
  4. Have tried the 'detrimental for kids' approach and was told it did not hold out given that writing 'standards' have improved in the classes it has been trialled in. I see children miserable every day now, hating literacy and having to face the thing they find the hardest shoved down their throats every day. They used to love reading for the fun of it and now all they see are diaries, recounts , newspapers, character descriptions and so on.
    Apparently attainment in one facet overrides all other aspects of the whole child. Was told that time for talk is over, we <u>are </u>doing this! Will try the suggestions though but no doubt will be told that you can't see differentiation in book scrutinies if they just write what they talked about.[​IMG]

    Am starting to keep a log of the hours I spend on marking too. Thanks.
  5. Kelloggs

    Kelloggs New commenter

    I have to mark all books every day - so for literacy and maths that is 60 books, plus all the foundation subjects - it takes me hours and hours every day - I finish work at work at about 5.30pm and then come home and do at least another 3 hours marking every day. It was never this intensive in my last 2 schools - I feel that this is excessive as I have absolutely no time whatsoever for my family or myself. I try working until the early hours Saturdays so that I can have weekends off, but invariably end up still working on Sundays to make sure I have stuff ready for the next day. I don't know how long this is sustainable for!
  6. Seriously Rolf33 and Kelloggs tell me where you work so I can make sure I never apply for a job there![​IMG]
  7. Hear hear!
  8. fantastischfish

    fantastischfish Established commenter

    I couldn't physically mark 30 exercise books every night. I work in secondary English and if I teach 5 lessons per day, I can potentially have up to 130-140 exercise books with written work in to mark each day, and that's before I think about setting homework. Add to this controlled assessment, APP and coursework and the marking load is ridiculous. I am constantly behind on marking. To keep up with it, I'd have to mark from the end of school solidly until bedtime, then also work an 8 hours day on Saturday and Sunday. I estimate it takes me approoximately 5-10 minutes per book to read, diagnostically mark with literacy errors etc, place stickers, write positive comment and target, and finally highlight the APP grid to show the level achieved. Even my lower estimate at 5 minutes per book produces 1.5hours of marking per class. Coursework and controlled assessment takes longer: I'd say about 10-15 minutes per essay. The lower estimate therefore produces upwards of 5 hours work of marking per class.

    I have the slight luxury of scheduling class' APP assessments/coursework/homework so that it doesn't all clash; even then, the marking is unmanageable. What is being asked of you EVERY day is unreasonable. Seek union advice. I'd suggest coming up with an alternative solution to suggest e.g.:
    1) All books to be marked on a weekly cycle, a certain number of books per night.
    2) An agreed marking system that makes the workload lighter. Stickers/stamps provided to avoid having to re-write key targets such as 'take care with spelling' or 'remember to use capital letters'. These can be obtained via various websites and stationery companies.
    3) Allow TAs time to mark some of the work. Perhaps they could mark some of the 'tick and flick' stuff like numeracy work that requires a right or wrong answer. This time could be allocated during PE lessons or assembly or when a TAs presence isn't necessarily required
    (N.B. I don't work in primary, nor do we get TAs in our classrooms other than for statemented children, so I'm not sure how feasible this is or how willing/able TAs would be to help).
    4) Use peer/self-assessment more frequently and agree that a teacher's comment is not required in addition to peer/self assessment. Get a stamp or sticker created that says "Peer assessed. Well done!" and perform the 'stamp, no cramp' style of marking.
    5) If you are spotting similar errors across the class, do not write the same target 30 times. Instead, agree that it is acceptable to set that target as your next objective and have the children write their own targets in their books, instead of you endless writing the same thing and wasting your time.

  9. fantastischfish

    fantastischfish Established commenter

    6) Agree on a school-wide or year group/class weekly marking focus. Do not pick up on every error, but tell the kids you are marking their work for vocabulary, or sentences, or punctuation and stick to it. Use peer/self-assessment to pick up on any additional errors in work.
  10. langteacher

    langteacher Occasional commenter

    Have you not marked this work as you have gone along???? By your calculations you need to spend 48 solid hours of marking before it is submitted. I teach a 100% coursework course in a secondary school and yes we are coming up to the dreaded deadline time so I will be inevitably busier than normal but there is no way i would be spending 6 solid days of my holidays doing marking. Is it really unfair that others went on holiday? Or is it that they can simply manage their time better while they are in work? I am married to someone who is not a teacher and gets the basic 20 days holiday. Teachers get decent holidays and if you need to spend yours working after school, every evening and more than half of your holiday, then you are doing something wrong! Feel free to shoot me down but I have 16 years experience, get results on a par with the rest of the school where I work and it really irritates me when people go on about how much work they do in the holidays.
  11. Believe it or not, this work is only able to be marked twice, we mark it for a first time (this is done as we go along with each task), give it back for corrections and then have to mark it a second time. The nature of the course means each year we have to mark during the Easter break. I dont believe it is a case of managing work load I think the work load given is too great for the number of people expected to mark it. 6 solid days is optimistic and we still have another week to go. Each portfolio takes an average of 30-45mins to mark so it is time consuming.Tired isnt the word!
  12. langteacher

    langteacher Occasional commenter

    what subject is this please?
  13. kash645

    kash645 New commenter

    "I see children miserable every day now, hating literacy and having to face the thing they find the hardest shoved down their throats every day. They used to love reading for the fun of it and now all they see are diaries, recounts , newspapers, character descriptions and so on.

    How sad for these children and for you. I'd say leave and find a school where they aren't churning out robots who can 'write' to pass tests.

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