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