Sunday, February 05, 2006

Cheater Cheater

What a wierd word: cheat. Have you ever really looked at it? It's one of those words you look up after you write it to make sure you spelled it right. I have had a couple kids on my case load caught cheating. What a difficult situation to be in, for everyone involved. In my school, it gets you a meeting with the principal to decide basically what becomes of you. In college, it's more cut and dry, they kick you out. In high school, it's more of a discipline and retraction of the grade. You also lose face. I mean, after a teacher has caught a "good" student cheating, all trust and credibility is out the window. Were all those "good grades" real? Or were they the product of cheating?
One of the students we caught was using her folder and opening it when the teacher was not looking. She claimed she was stressed out to get good grades and had 5 20 week tests all in the same day (that part of it was kind of wrong on the teachers part.). However, all the kids were in the same boat. They were all under pressure and the honest, rock solid kids did not waiver.
I felt bad for her. The principal had to phone home, and that was the part that got her the most. She was so embarassed for her parents to be getting the information that she cheated on a 20 week test. Then there was in-school. Again, this is they type of student that has never broken a school rule and now she will have to face her friends and explain why she is going to ISS. Hopefully, she learned a valuable lesson.
We know cheating goes on in school. The ante has been upped now that the internet is so user friendly. You can down load almost any paper you need written both for a fee and for free. With the use of cell phones and texting, one student can text another on the contents of a test if they have the subject two periods in a row. It has gotten much easier to cheat. Couple that with the amount of Regents, mid terms, finals, state tests, etc....and the need to cheat has also gone up.
With all that in mind, when I look at my own girls, there is really only a couple of things in life I expect of them. I want them to be kind to people. I want them to give their personal best, and I want them to be honest at all costs. I would rather they bring home a B they worked for than an A they plagerized or cheated for. When it's report card time, and my little daughter is asking "I wonder how many A's I got this time." I stop her. I tell her before we open it that I am proud of how hard she has worked in second grade and that I know her grades will reflect her hard work. I also tell her I will be proud of whatever grades are in there because I know she put time and effort into her work. Bottom line, that is golden. May my girls never feel the pressure to cheat. May I never dole out the expectation that A's are everything. An honest hard working person, true to themselves is everything.

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