How to cut your marking in half

teacher tips
Nicole at Apple Tree Resources
How to cut your marking in half

Raise your hand if you feel like you're drowning in marking. If you raised your hand, I have good news. I'm here to share how to cut your marking in HALF. Sound too good to be true? It isn't! Tune in to learn more.


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Hey there, it's Nicole Sanders, your friendly neighborhood host of Let's Chat Teaching. Today, we're diving into a topic that's near and dear to every teacher's heart – cutting our marking load in half. Now, I know what you're thinking. Is that even possible? Especially for us English teachers, marking seems to be a never-ending task that eats up all our free time.

Let me take you back to a moment that really opened my eyes to the whole marking dilemma. I was at a middle school conference in Portland, Oregon, chatting with a fellow teacher who worked in a different state. He mentioned casually that in his classroom of 38 students, he hardly marked anything at all. I was floored. How could he possibly get away with that?

His explanation was simple yet profound. With such a large class size and the endless demands of classroom management, marking often took a backseat. Now, before you jump to conclusions, let me clarify – I'm not advocating for neglecting our duty to assess and provide feedback to our students. But his experience got me thinking about the purpose of marking and how we can streamline the process without sacrificing quality.

Here's the golden nugget I want to share with you today: we don't need to mark everything our students do. Yep, you heard me right. It's a concept that took me a while to wrap my head around, but once I did, it revolutionized the way I approached marking.

Think about it like this. Learning is a process, not a one-time event. By giving our students opportunities to practice and receive feedback without the pressure of a summative mark, we're actually fostering a healthier learning environment. Students can explore, make mistakes, and grow without the fear of being graded on every little thing.

So, how do we put this into practice? It's simple, really. Start by setting clear expectations with your students. Let them know that not every assignment will be graded numerically, but that doesn't diminish its importance. Completion checks, peer evaluations, and self-assessments can all play a role in the learning process.

And here's the best part – by taking this approach, you'll cut your marking load in half. No more endless nights spent buried under a pile of papers. Instead, you'll have more time to focus on what really matters – guiding your students toward mastery of the material.

Now, I know this might sound too good to be true, but trust me, it works. I've seen it firsthand in my own classroom. When students are freed from the pressure of constant grading, they're more engaged, more willing to take risks, and ultimately, more successful.

So, the next time you find yourself drowning in a sea of papers, take a step back and ask yourself – do I really need to mark all of this? Chances are, the answer is no. Embrace the power of selective marking, and watch as your workload magically shrinks before your eyes.


Thanks for hanging out with me today, and I'll see you next time!



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