exam scripts marking, overtime

i hit my marking quota every day from monday to friday so i decided to cut myself some slack and halve the weekend quota. bad move as it is 6pm saturday and i made nary a dent in the pile.

i don’t like the marking, but i appreciate this time away from the students. some peace and quiet, just me against a pile of paper, working at it till 9 or 10 every night.

i would complain abt the overtime hours, but at the same time i recognise that a script does not take that long to mark. 20-30 mins per script would essentially take up all your working hours when there are no classes to teach and no lessons to prep. (non-exam marking takes up nearly all available free time though, which sucks big time and is the primary reason why english and humanities teachers are the earliest to quit)

it only goes into the late hours because the brain is unable to cope with having to decipher the increasingly poor handwriting, the odd argumentation that defies classification by logical fallacies and then thinking of appropriate comments which do not turn into an essay on its own, which will take longer than the alloted half an hour. oh, did i mention the bad grammar and misspelling?

this means that the brain turns into a coconut pretty much within 3 scripts or so, requiring downtime. the alternative is to continue marking while lacking the ability to discern an average piece from the next (which fall into quite a broad band). my mentors used to tell me to pause if I’ve given the same score 3-4 scripts in a row, because it may be that my brain is unresponsive at the moment and everything seems the same.

and thus, long hours and late nights it is. it also doesn’t help when people think I’ve got short hours and long holidays (what a lie). when there’s little appreciation from the public, from parents, from students, even from the human resource department of the education ministry, one wonders why the heck teachers even exist. too thankless a job for too hard the work.

what other job can offer the idealist in me a sense of purpose and the intellectual satisfaction?


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