By: Blonde Two

Other colour pens are available, but if you are a teacher in Devon (did I mention that I am currently not),  you will know that the current ‘marking policy’ (yes you are right, there are more important things to write policies about) favours green for teacher comments, followed by a shade of violet for student responses. (Please note, my extensive research suggests that green is frowned on Up-Country).

Many (extremely serious) reasons have been given for rejecting or adopting different pen colours for marking. Red is apparently too vicious, pink means that you are pleased (tickled pink), green means that … well maybe that spinach is good for you … I don’t know, I don’t make the rules up. Marking policies such as these are given posh (extremely serious) names like ‘Deep Marking’ and ‘Rainbow Marking’; for this read, lots of ‘extra teacher work’!

Anyway my recent book editing activities (The Non-Story of Ignatius Bowerman, launching soon) have led to me marking my own work. Not many teachers get to do this, and I thought it would give me the opportunity to test a few marking pen colour theories.

I chose red and green pens for my test (mainly because those were the only ones that I could find). In theory, the green pen should have made me feel healthy and the red pen demoralised. I opted for red first on the premiss that following on with green would cheer me up after my demoralisation. The results of my experiment are below:

  1. Green pen – made me cross because I had found yet more mistakes.
  2. Red pen – made me cross because it wouldn’t work.

Next time I might be really radical and try yellow!