The Creative Teacher Project

An NQT Bringing Creativity to the Classroom

In Praise of: Systems


Marking - The Creative Teacher Project

I had an observation not too long ago, and some of the feedback I received was that I need better systems for keeping on top of my marking. I like to think (in fact I hope and pray) that I am not alone here! Sometimes the hardest thing about feedback is it has the tendency to be absolute spot on. #Ouch.

As we headed into the last few weeks of term, I was determined to make some changes if only to make my own life easier! My headteacher has often said that to be a teacher is to feel guilty – while true, it’s not a state I want to encourage!

So last week I made a commitment to myself, and therefore to my class that I would up the ante in the marking department, and I am happy to report that every single student had at least one developmental comment last week.

I used every darn moment I had spare to mark, but a moment spent at school is one I have free at home. Win/win.

Now that I’ve found a system I am determined to stick to it, and furthermore to find even more hot tips to help me have more time to teach and more unadulterated time with my family.

Any suggestions?

Author: Sam

Ignite. Create. Discuss. The Creative Teacher Project is an education blog focussing on innovation, joy and most importantly creativity in the classroom. We all know that teaching is a demanding vocation. Through TCP, I aim to encourage myself and other newly qualified teachers to think about the way they approach their job, and promote personal satisfaction through meaningful connection with the content we teach and the students we teach it to. I’m an Australian teacher specialising in Drama, who recently moved over from Secondary to Primary Teaching. I want to be a teacher that engages with my students, and models creativity not only in the classroom, but in my entire approach to education. I’m often described as enthusiastic, and I love connecting with others online!

2 thoughts on “In Praise of: Systems

  1. I find it so difficult to keep on top of this myself! I am so convinced that feedback is one of the most important parts of my job, but i am also constantly aware that it is the one thing I don’t really have specific time for.

    Can I ask, in what form did the fedback you gave take? I think feedback given in the classroom needs to be one way of making feedback managable. I am really interested in the methos by which you managed to accomplish this.




    • Hi Mike!

      Thanks so much for taking the time to comment. To answer your question, after my initial instruction time, I start my focus group off and then circulate the room to check understanding. I’ve only just got into the habit of writing my verbal feedback down in their books in green pen (in note form) because then when I mark I can see that some extra input has been given to that student. I don’t do this for every student every time though, it’s definitely a case by case basis.

      In terms of marking, I take about 8 books after each lesson of literacy and maths each day (8 writing books and 8 maths), and tick mark where appropriate, leaving at least one developmental comment in their books per subject per student per week. This usually will be a question for them to answer, or asking them to make corrections in another coloured pen so I can see them. It could also be something like “in your self evaluation, you’ve mentioned you know where to put possessive apostrophes. Can you show me where you have used them?”. This makes sure the students are actually self-evaluating properly, and shows me they really know, instead of just saying they know something to get me off their backs!

      I try and mark in break time and lunch time where I can, but if not I make sure I mark after school before I go home. I do not mark every book every day, but I work through each student by the end of the week, sometimes marking one or two days in one sitting. This is only a system I’ve used for this term, but it has worked so well for me that I will use it going forward, probably for the rest of my career!

      Hope that helps -if you have any more questions please shoot them through!


Let me know what you think below!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.