This is the monster that all teachers make peace with in spite of the joys of being in the classroom!I have been having a great two weeks and planning my next blog post because of the wonderful and sometimes not so wonderful experiences in my classroom.But as I have watched the files pile up on my desk and my school bag become heavier every afernoon, marking is the only thing I can think of.

Assessment marks are due in March.My colleague and I have to make sure that a set number of assessments are done this term in order for the term mark to be created and also meeting curriculum requirements showing that learning is happening in the classroom.So while the kids complain that we are expecting too much and giving them too much homework,I'm trying to make them realise that while they have too much work,I have to mark their writing.

And sadly,this has not been a rivetting process(a post for another day,maybe once I've finished my marking for this term and I can reflect on the kind of work that has been handed in).My efforts of warding off the angst that comes with the marking have not been successful.In between trying to have a life, making time for sleep and editing my thesis so I can hand in the final final draft at the end of this month,the marking seems to be at the bottom of my priority list.And that means I'm shooting myself in the foot.

This morning I woke up in a panic.I literally woke up from a dream where it seems I had failed dismally at keeping up with my marking to the extent that I stayed home during a week day to finish the marking that was due.It seems that in the dream I was trying to be super teacher and I promised my learners that I was going to be ready with their comments and scripts in record time.Upon realising that I had failed them,I lay comatose in bed licking my wounds because in the dream I had failed myself and my learners.

However, in reality,I'm trying to be optimistic about this process.Granted,some of the work should have been handed back to the kids sooner so they can check mistakes before they hand in on Wednesday and Friday.But instead I spent some time in most lessons making comments about some of the issues emerging from the marking thus far,things they ought to be aware of before they hand in again.That's the best I can do because in relaity I know I cannot be super teacher who can take in piles of scripts from 4 classes and return all the work marked with comments within one week.And that's okay.

So hopefully by the end of this term I will have some kind of strategy for keeping up with the marking process.So far I have decided to spend less time in the staff room unless I absolutely have to be there.Instead I stay in my classroom during breaktimes and I multitask with an apple in one hand and a green pen in the other!


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