How to mark a student’s paper: Benefiting the child? – Part 1
Posted on: December 22, 2016. Comments ( 4 )

Author: Mrs. Radhika Mohan, Educational Consultant

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As an English teacher for classes X, XI and XII, I was often appreciated for the ways I practiced while marking my students’ answer sheets. Teachers of English, will know how time consuming it is to mark an answer sheet for 100 marks. And we have to two papers as well, Paper I and Paper II.

It can be definitely tedious as well, especially if one wants to do a meticulous job of it. I would easily take 15 to 20 minutes to mark one paper. And I had almost 50 students in a class. I had to burn the midnight oil – for many nights, indeed! But I had some ideas very clearly set in my mind, which I remembered for every paper I marked.

I believe marking should be made constructive to students. It is an integral part of the teaching process, and hence it is worthwhile as it actually benefits the pupils. The way we mark makes a lot of difference to their scholastic improvement.

When I became Principal, I chalked out a whole–school policy for marking, in lieu to make it beneficial for students to understand if their work is marked by several teachers per week. Even if there is no whole–school policy, teachers will have to organize their own, and whatever it may be, we make sure pupils understand it.

Marking appropriately benefits pupils either at primary or secondary levels.

We could make a wall chart denoting what my symbols mean:
For example:

I used to spend 2-3 class hours only to hand over the answer sheets to each student, discussing the paper thoroughly, one by one. I would give each one of them a few minutes to look through it to see their mistakes, and encourage them to ask me about anything they haven’t understood.

Marking can be made helpful and encouraging with the following ways:

    > We could use an erasable pen/pencil so that we may erase our own comments when we want to change something in view of something we may come across later in the paragraph answered.

    > Great splashes of color could be very disheartening and disconcerting to the pupil. Also the paper could look messed up. A short deletion line will do.

    > It is best to avoid red ink or any bright glaring colors of ink while marking papers of students with learning disabilities. An answersheet covered with harsh colors could dishearten the child. We could use a black pen or a lead pencil with a much darker shade than the pupil’s writing.

    > If a child has made too many errors in his/her answer, we should take the opportunity to take the pupil aside and ask him/her to read out the answer, aloud, only to you. The teacher may write down a few correct sentences underneath, for the pupil to see. It’s clearer for him/her to see and not let the pupil feel disgusted at seeing masses of marks across his/her work.

Continued in next part…

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Comments (4)


    Raja says:

    It’s so heartening to read this much of efforts by teachers. Thanks to all the teachers of my kids, especially to you Mrs. Radhika. You make us to become aware of all the work the teachers do for the future citizens. Thank you

    Ranjani Govardhana says:

    This is so heartening to see. I particularly liked the point, where you highlight that the paper should not be a splash of red colour. This is really intimidating for the student as well as the parent

    Dr. Sudheendrah says:

    Many messages some times quite often, as well must be innovative,, to motivate kids,, a

    Amala says:

    It’s so heartening to read this much of efforts by teachers. Thanks to all the teachers of my kids, especially to you Mrs. Radhika. You make us to become aware of all the work the teachers do for the future citizens. Hats off!

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