Written by Claire Hughes, former primary school teacher and now Primary Curriculum Specialist at CENTURY Tech. Click here to read the full article in TES.
Like most other teachers, I joined the profession to improve the world. But the job I loved so much eventually exhausted me: and like so many others, I left. I was tired of the laborious paperwork (too often solely for the benefit of inspectors). I was tired of having to give evidence for every judgement I made in ridiculous detail. I was tired of flagging up children who needed further support for it to never materialise. I was tired of having to write three sentences about a child’s one sentence of writing in reception, when they were too young to understand my words.
But what crushed me was the marking – 120 books a day, 10 hours a week. I still vividly remember teachers more experienced than me recommending their favourite wheeled reinforced crate contraptions they had bought to transport their books after school shut – every single day.
We recently learned that while parents are broadly happy with artificial intelligence (AI) being used to improve many classroom functions, half of parents are unhappy with AI being used to mark their child’s schoolwork. It’s easy to sympathise – every parent wants the best for their child, and the thought of the teacher giving less attention to their child’s schooling is an understandable concern.
But I know that far from providing more attention to the child, conventional marking actually stands between the teacher and the student. Fears around using technology to mark work are well-intentioned but misguided for three reasons.