The Curse of the Red Pen

Teaching it Real


I don’t want to get all “John Lennon” on you, but I’d like to ask you to imagine something for me. Imagine there’s no OFSTED, it isn’t hard to do. No lesson observation, and no grading too. Imagine all the teachers, teaching how they chose. If that was the case, if there was no one watching, would you still mark books?

When I started teaching, most teachers were still marking using a “flick and tick” approach with some corrections. That was about it. Since then we have seen huge and unwieldy marking policies which have added to workload and driven teachers from the classroom. Is this because marking books is a hugely efficient way of improving progress? I’d suggest not.

I have seen marking policies which have stated that “there will be some evidence of marking in books every two weeks.” What on Earth does this mean? It means that…

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About teachingbattleground

I teach
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