Students with stories to tell: Inclusive marking

I ran my eye along the desk.  It’s not a big or beautiful desk. The space for planning and mark making with paper, pens and pencils is now occupied by anonymous technology. This desk and space is part of the identity of being a teacher. It provides a degree of stability, security and structure to a teacher’s day. Perhaps even a psychological safe place. I know who and what I am in this space. It’s where I generally live as a teacher when not in the classroom. It’s a shared space, a social space, a dialogic space. A space for conversations, co-existing, collaboration, thinking and reflection. The Ancient Greek philosopher Epictetus is said to once demand of a friend whose house had burnt to the ground, “If you really understand what governs the universe, how can you yearn for bits of stone and pretty rock?” I appreciate that the scale and magnitude isn’t comparable but sometimes after the classroom my desk space speaks of serenity, a restorative space just to be. Continue Reading

MARKING – Walking with students

I think in riffs, playing with ideas, events, moments, turning them round and round, connecting and dis-connecting until I’m ready to write. Right about now I’m ignoring an almost ‘Garden size – Jenga’ stack of multi-coloured folders, accompanied by pages of empty boxes desperately seeking numbers.
There’s no two ways about it, marking student writing is work!

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