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  • Writer's pictureRiver Valley Student Editorial Club

The Unseen Effort: Behind the Scenes of Teachers' Marking and Planning

By Lim Jun Chuan (23J08)

Teaching is often seen as a noble profession, one that shapes the minds of the future. However, behind the classroom doors lies a significant amount of effort that often goes unnoticed. Four educators from various disciplines - Ms Chitra Jenardhanan, Ms Stephanie Chua, Mdm Sim Lea Kheang and Mdm Ang Gay Leng - shed light on the hours spent marking and planning, a crucial aspect of their roles that is seldom fully appreciated.

Ms Chitra, a GP teacher, candidly shared her perspective on the complexities of grading written assignments. She explained how evaluating GP essays demands more time and careful consideration.

"If you’re asking me for, let’s say, a full-length essay, I can mark about 3-4 essays an hour," she explained.

However, the process doesn't end there. Tailoring personalized feedback for each student is an integral part of her teaching philosophy. This level of customization requires significant time investment, making the marking process both intricate and time-consuming.

The sentiment was echoed by Mdm Sim, who teaches biology.

"I usually take 2 days just to mark one practical worksheet for one class," Mdm Sim said.

This emphasizes the meticulous assessment required for hands-on assignments. Such dedication illustrates how educators aim to provide meaningful feedback, enhancing students' learning experiences.

Mdm Sim believes in providing meaningful feedback to enhance students' learning experiences

Ms Chua also provides insight into the intricacies of comparing marking across different subjects. She acknowledged that the difficulty of grading is not necessarily uniform across disciplines.

While marking durations might vary, the underlying commitment to students' development remains a constant.

An Eyesore

A sentiment expressed by several of the educators was the demanding nature of marking as one's eyesight deteriorates over time.

Ms Chua humorously emphasized this, pointing out that regardless of the subject, the act of grading becomes more challenging as age takes its toll. This serves as a reminder that educators face physical challenges while striving to provide quality education.

Mdm Ang, a chemistry teacher, offered a glimpse into the time allocated for practical components. Spending approximately 10 hours a week on practicals, she illustrated the diversification of effort required to cover different aspects of teaching.

A Complex Equation

However, marking is only one facet of the equation. All these educators discussed the extensive planning that goes into crafting effective lessons.

Ms Chitra discussed the transition from hardcopy reading materials to a website-based approach. This shift required hours of work, searching for suitable resources, and aligning them with teaching objectives. The intention behind every resource chosen reflects the educators' dedication to fostering comprehensive understanding.

Collectively, our teachers illuminate the multifaceted responsibilities that come with teaching. Beyond the classroom presence, there lies a dedication to providing meaningful feedback, crafting well-rounded lessons, and ensuring students' growth. The hours spent marking and planning are a testament to their commitment to education.

As we appreciate the knowledge imparted within the classroom, let's also remember the unseen effort that shapes these educational experiences.

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