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One hour's work could save you days of marking

So EI Attewell's wife spends six hours marking in the evening and works four hours per day during her holidays (TES Letters, February 6) - more fool her!

She is, perhaps, suffering from what I call the "crucifixion complex", a condition which afflicts teachers so that they don't feel that they're doing the job unless they're working to a state of total exhaustion. I teach science in an 11 to 18 school and the Government pays me Pounds 23,000 per year. They get Pounds 23,000-worth of work.

I learned long ago that the most scrupulously marked and corrected work often goes straight in the bin with barely a second glance.

I set homework every week, but it's sharply focused and presented on a worksheet where the pupils write their answers or do the calculations in the allotted space.

On one side of A4, you know where the answers are; you know what the answers are, and 24 scripts can be marked in 15 minutes. An hour spent preparing a good homework sheet could save you days of marking in a career.

As for planning lessons, a well-planned lesson, crisply delivered with a variety of activities, lasts a career. I trot out basically the same lessons every year and I make no apologies for that - they work, the children learn effectively and both they and I enjoy them.

I am a highly successful teacher; my results and my good relationships with my pupils prove it. I love my job but that's all teaching is - a job. To those teachers who say that teaching is their life, I say: "Get a life!" NAME AND ADDRESS SUPPLIED

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