Marking is a hornet

Joe Kirby

Written marking takes up huge amounts of teachers’ time. If the average teacher marks for just over 5 hours a week, that’s 200 hours of marking a year. In a secondary school of 100 teachers, that’s 20,000 hours of marking.

Written marking is non-renewable: it’s a one-off. Each written comment I put in a pupil’s book only impacts once on that one pupil. What else could we do with that 20,000 hours, that would impact more positively on future pupils and other teachers? Marking has a very low ratio of impact-to-effort, and a very high opportunity cost.

MarkingHornet

There are much better ways to share feedback so pupils improve. There are much better ways to focus teachers’ limited time. That is why we no longer mark pupils’ books at our school – at all.

Feedback is a butterfly 

Feedback is effective when it is timely (not too late after the…

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