Make Your Marking Stand Out from the Crowd November 20, 2018 You know what the worst part is? Most of your students will take it for granted. No, we’re not talking about your classroom mascot, we’re talking about the blood, sweat and tears that go into marking work. There’ll be many late nights, many takeaways and many broken pens. The results of your labour will pay off though, as your students will react positively if your marking is always on time. But how do you get your marking noticed? How do you make your marking stand out from the crowd? We’ve got a few tips to make marking easier for you, as we’ve all been in the same situation ourselves. Ask Away Don’t be afraid to ask questions! Your feedback can be a two-way conversation if you want it to be. Your students will appreciate it too, as it shows that you care about their opinion or advice. Whether you’re asking for a clarification or enquiring about progress, your students will definitely notice. You could use a separate pen or create a symbol that means you want a response. Either way, if a student knows that you genuinely care about there progress, they’re also likely to work harder in your lessons. It also gives them a chance to respond privately too, so you may receive a better answer than if you asked in the classroom. As long as you make them aware of your marking style from the beginning, they’ll likely respond well. Keep it Concise This doesn’t just benefit the student. Marking takes a lot of time when done right. Sometimes, you may not even have time to do that! By keeping your comments or questions concise, you’re limiting the amount of work that you need to do. In turn, this sets expectations for each student, as they’ll know what to expect from you at the very beginning. Students are also more likely to read your comments if they are shorter. Your amazing marking efforts could be wasted if you write your comments in large paragraphs. By keeping it concise, you’re making it easier for yourself and the student, ensuring that your feedback is beneficial. Student Support While it may seem like a cop-out at first, allowing your students to mark each other’s work is a great idea. It’s a learning opportunity that you don’t want to miss out on, as it provides an overview of the curriculum and the answers that they should be using. It also gives you an opportunity to see what they really know, as they apply their own knowledge to someone else’s work. As a sneaky bonus, it’ll help with your workload and your lesson plans, giving you more time to work on other creative tasks for your clever class. Don’t overuse this idea though, as your students may get tired of marking, just as you do! Be Creative You expect your classroom to be creative, so you should be too! Your marking needs to pop from the page, yet remain concise and informative. But how do you do this and remain as efficient as you want to be? The answer lies in humble stamps and snazzy stickers. Easily bought from hobby shops or even certain supermarkets, stamps and stickers make marking simple and provide an easy way to leave feedback. The more you purchase, the more creative you can be, as your students will appreciate unique options. Make sure to keep some ‘rare’ stamps aside for exemplary work, especially if you teach younger students. Marking Matters Being a teacher requires dedication and care, so your marking should shine through to each student in your classroom. Examples of your marking may even help in an interview for a new teaching position, which we regularly promote on our website. Just contact our team if you require any information, as we’re always happy to help!