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Marking whilst teaching a class ?

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by CIB17, Feb 9, 2020.

  1. CIB17

    CIB17 New commenter

    So I was caught marking whilst teaching a class, the pupils were independently working, we have just had Mocks so whilst the pupils were getting on, I was marking.
    Some SLT came in ( twice ) and I was spoken to about how I shouldn't be doing it.
    Im very worried this counts as misconduct ? No mention of any disciplinary - but a mention that I had been spoken to about it before ( didn't happen), any advice on what may happen?
  2. letap

    letap Occasional commenter

    All the staff in my school at some stage have marked in lessons - it can be a very efficient use of time.
    If your lesson was fine then in my opinion the members of SLT coming into your lesson have been unreasonable and it most certainly is not misconduct.
    If the SLT have this attitude, then I personally would look for another job.
    Keep_hope_alive, drek, lrw22 and 17 others like this.
  3. 50sman

    50sman Lead commenter

    Up until the invention of OFSTED teachers marked. In lessons all the time
    I can remember the old senior maths teachers sitting in front of silent classes (students didn’t date breathe) with the door open marking away.
  4. meggyd

    meggyd Lead commenter

    I have sometimes asked a pupil to come up to my desk and watch me mark a piece of their work. Maybe old-fashioned but I think effective.
  5. GreenTrees123

    GreenTrees123 Occasional commenter

    This wouldn’t be acceptable at my place. During lessons we expect teachers to have their full focus on the students, so in this context that may involve doing one-to-one work or going round the class to offer help.
    esther30 and sooooexcited like this.
  6. CIB17

    CIB17 New commenter

    This is basically whats happened but I'm unsure of what can happen as a result ?
  7. CIB17

    CIB17 New commenter

    To be honest i know staff mark while students are doing exams etc, but as students were independently working same principal in my mind. Im really worried it could turn into a disciplinary or similar- I think I'm getting stressed about it and I'm maybe over thinking it ?
  8. teacher4l1fe

    teacher4l1fe New commenter

    Agree with GreenTrees on this one!
    sooooexcited and GreenTrees123 like this.
  9. CIB17

    CIB17 New commenter

    i know but I'm unsure of the consequences or it happening ? does it count as misconduct ?
  10. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    So you've told me (I am YR10) that I have 20 minutes in which to write 3 paragraphs in answer to a question on the board but then proceed to bother me by asking me if I'm OK or need help or interrupt me and ask me why I wrote such and such? Great!

    No. Sit down and let me complete the task assigned. If I'm in trouble then I'll raise my hand and ask for help. Mark, twiddle your thumbs, whatever.

    There's a time for wandering and for helping and there's a time when you don't. During which time the teacher can do some marking or write reports.
  11. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    You were spoken to about how you shouldn't be doing it...that's it done. A minor slap on the wrist.
    They didn't mention misconduct or disciplinary, so nothing more will happen.
    Great to hear that there are still school where SLT deal with minor incidents by simply pointing out to a member of staff that they aren't too impressed.
    Stop panicking and plan lessons such that there is never a time when everyone is getting on. Have 3/4 getting on and work with a small group or some such. Or at least find a way for it to be that if SLT are out and about.

    Yes, we've all done it at some time or other, but it isn't really an ok thing to do. Probably the member of SLT felt obliged to say something, but understands the pressures of workload so did very little.
  12. meggyd

    meggyd Lead commenter

    So your class are doing a written test lasting 30mins? What do you do during this time bearing in mind it is a gcse type exercise?
  13. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    They weren't doing a test...they had just finished mocks.
    The OP says s/he was 'marking while teaching a class' and that the pupils 'were independently working' and 'getting on'.

    If they were doing a test, then that's a whole different question.
    Other than looking up occasionally to check no one is cheating, then absolutely get on with whatever.
    But in lesson time, no.

    And, before anyone says anything, nope, I have never ever had the misfortune to have the horrific amount of marking GCSE English and History teachers have.
  14. magic surf bus

    magic surf bus Star commenter

    I always worked on the assumption that the best lessons were those where the children were sufficiently motivated and informed to work independently at their computers and I was to all intents and purposes redundant. You don't have to be hovering over them and fussing them all the time. Heaven forbid that a teacher can create motivated and informed independent learners eh?

    On the few occasions that the above was the case I might have got on with a bit of admin in the background. More often there'd be technical issues or the inevitable behaviour problem from some individual or other.
    ATfan, VeronicAmb, BetterNow and 7 others like this.
  15. sbkrobson

    sbkrobson Star commenter

    The question is not whether this is acceptable, because of course it is. It is the only way to get things done to time.
    The question is why did SLT drop in on you doing this twice in one lesson? Why did they deem it unacceptable when it is something I am pretty sure they will have done themselves. It is the act of multitasking. Sorting papers in meetings, Talking about behaviour issues whilst photocopying. Taking the register whilst talking to a child. Entering data whilst on the phone to a parent. I do all of these things, and I do my job well and to the detriment of no child's learning. Ever.
    Ridiculous that they are asking you to not do something which is streamlining the fact of excessive workload inot feasibility rather than overwhelming pressure.
    In other words this is you being picked on.
    Who told them to go into your room twice?
    That is the issue.
    Not marking in front of a class silently working.

    What godawful culture are you working in which has compelled you to tell us you were "caught" doing your job?!
  16. Morninglover

    Morninglover Star commenter

    Spot on!
  17. lindenlea

    lindenlea Star commenter

    Mind you I did walk into the head's room and find him looking at a golf club website on one occasion.
    I'm with @caterpillartobutterfly, a teacher should actually be teaching someone in the class, but it seems like the SLT wont take it any further so shake it off and carry on.
  18. Dorsetdreams

    Dorsetdreams Occasional commenter

    Sometimes we should just take a look at ourselves.
  19. GreenTrees123

    GreenTrees123 Occasional commenter

    Heads and SMT members have a completely different role from other members of staff. They have a much more fluid and multi-faceted working day than teachers, who have fixed output times.

    There should be no issue with a headteacher looking at a golf club or any other website, as they have a very busy and stressful working day. It is essential to take regular breaks and to include downtime.
  20. Grandsire

    Grandsire Star commenter

    While I agree that teachers should be teaching most of the time, I don't know that it's so very wrong to mark a few books during lessons. I'm primary, and occasionally in the afternoons, while most of them are getting on with something relatively straightforward - finishing off, or artistic stuff - I pull out a stack of English books and haul them up one by one to talk about what they did well and what they need to do. We look through a bit, then I send them off to make corrections and check the rest for similar mistakes. It makes for very effective marking - much better than leaving feedback and action until the next day, and keeps the work-life balance manageable, although I'll still have at least one or two sets of books still to mark at the end of the day. I don't think it's good to do it more than once a week, though.

    Where I work, I think it depends how high up the scale you are as to whether it's acceptable. A relatively new teacher got hauled over the coals for being caught marking one book last year by a member of the SLT who apparently has parent helpers in most days doing their marking (I don't really approve of that), but no one's ever told ME not to mark in lessons. According to other colleagues, a few years back some SLT were regularly sticking all the children in one class to watch a DVD while they got on with their marking! At least I'm not that bad!
    ATfan, SundaeTrifle, ms honey and 4 others like this.

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