Conquering the Marking Mountain!

Teaching upper Key Stage 2 is so much fun but also very challenging. One of the greatest challenges is keeping the marking under control. The older the children get, the more work they produce thus making the marking overwhelming. At times it inevitably eats up all your non-contact time as well as precious time at home. In order to avoid feeling overpowered by this, certain strategies are needed to help teachers with the workload.

This summer I climbed Mount Taygetos, a mountain in the Peloponnese, Greece. It took me 5 hours and I did it by taking a step at a time. Slow but consistent steps helped me get to top. That’s all it took. If I was able to do that, then I don’t see why getting to the top of my mountain of marking was not possible. I believe, where there is a will, there is a way!

So, I searched the internet; spoke to some colleagues; and compiled a list of 5 steps that teachers can take to climb and conquerMount Marking‘! Keep reading to find out what they are.

  1. Mark a few books a day. This is my newly found method, which so far seems to be working. The only catch is that you will have to mark on a daily basis. Just as one would climb a real mountain a step at a time, marking can be tackled in small manageable chunks a bit at a time.
  2. Use peer, self-assessment and whole class marking. These are all great ways to get your marking done whilst engaging your pupils with the assessment process. Not everything should be teacher-orientated.
  3. Set efficient and effective tasks. Sometimes tasks set do not have to be marking intensive.Filling the blanks, solving problems and short answers can test a wide range of topics and cut down the marking time all in one.
  4. Take regular breaks to keep fresh. This is important, especially when correcting and concentrating on mistakes. Your brain can get used to seeing the wrong things and when tired gets easily mixed up, making marking mistakes are inevitable.
  5. Have a clear marking method. Before you start marking, consider different possible responses to questions you may have given. Set a clear marking scheme that you are to follow. This will make the marking both easier and faster.

These are the steps I am taking… I hope they help you, too!


See you at the top!

Till next time…

Peppi Orfanogianni


3 comments on “Conquering the Marking Mountain!”
  1. Ms. Rickard says:

    Excellent. But I’ve never experienced a marking moutain as I’m not a french teacher! Marking mountains yes I’ve suffered!

    Sent from my Samsung device

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hazel Lewis says:

    Very sensible suggestions Peppi! In my final year of teaching I had a large class and if I hadn’t had a marking strategy similar to the one you describe, I would have found it overwhelming. You’re quite right to advocate a system in which you control the workload….otherwise it controls you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. savedyouaspot says:

      Thanks Hazel! Good to know I’m onto something here! Need to be getting to the top of that mountain consistently! 😉😉😉


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