Disappointed.

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Caesar753, Jan 18, 2013.

  1. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Jan 18, 2013

    I caught four of my level 3 students cheating on their final exams. They were using their cell phones during the test.

    I am so disappointed. I thought that these students had more respect for me and for my class than to do this. I even brought them breakfast today before the exam. I guess that's the last time I do that.

    I also allowed them to use their dictionaries on the exam. (This isn't super unusual in upper level foreign language classes, where the emphasis is less on vocabulary and more on grammar and putting it all together.) I guess I won't be giving them that freebie in the future either.

    Sigh.

    When are we going to address this culture of cheating in schools today? This is just out of control.
     
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  3. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    How disappointing, Caesar. This sort of thing is like a knife in the gut.

    The Director of Education in the largest board in the province just lost his job over allegations of plagiarism (which, to his credit, he did not deny). There is now suspicion that his doctoral thesis may have been plagiarized. A very long fall for a powerful man caught cheating.
     
  4. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

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    I'm sorry :(

    What were their reactions? What will their consequences be?

    I think that we just have to address it on a case-by-case basis. Obviously telling students ahead of time isn't working. I think holding them accountable when they do cheat and enforcing serious consequences, will eventually make a difference. But too many kids get off scott-free or close to it. Why not cheat then?
     
  5. ku_alum

    ku_alum Aficionado

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    It always makes my stomach hurt when I catch my students cheating for the same reason ... I thought they respected me.

    But, I remind myself that it is not likely an issue of disrespect. It is more likely pressures to get an A, or pressures to not do worse than their friend, or the idea that "I won't get caught."

    Sorry.
     
  6. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    I'm sure you're right. It's just...ugh!
     
  7. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    I wouldn't punish the rest of the kids with no dictionary support, etc. Of course, I am sure that was just a rant.
     
  8. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Yes, it was just a rant.
     
  9. giraffe326

    giraffe326 Virtuoso

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    :( That is always disappointing.

    Unfortunately, you can't really teach someone to have integrity. It has to come from within.
     
  10. KoGs

    KoGs Rookie

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    It's a game we play even as adults (Lance Armstrong comes to mind).
     
  11. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Those are the ones you caught, Caesar...what is your schools tech policy?
     
  12. KinderCowgirl

    KinderCowgirl Phenom

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    Unfortunately, I even see it with the young ones. I send a newsletter home every week with spelling words and once caught a girl hiding it on her lap to take a test. She didn't realize we were taking a math test ;), but I was also very disappointed. I don't think there's any excuse for it.
     
  13. frtrd

    frtrd Rookie

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    How young is "level 3"? I remember that in 2nd grade (around 7 yrs) I happily let my neighbors copy off my spelling test. I look back and am flabbergasted that I had no idea it was wrong, ha.
     
  14. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Juniors in high school. They've been in my class for three years.
     
  15. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    It's crazy how technology has changed the face of education...in both good and bad ways.

    I'm from the days where you actually had to use a cheat sheet to cheat!
     
  16. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Oh I know. I do my best to be vigilant during exams, but I know it happens even when I don't catch it.

    Our policy is that no cell phones are allowed to be activated in the classrooms at any time. I had specifically stated that they couldn't use their phones, and I had written it on the board along with the rest of the instructions. They knew perfectly well that they weren't allowed to have them, because they went out of their way to hide them. One boy had a winter hat on his desk (we've been in a cold spell recently), and the phone was tucked inside it. I wouldn't have noticed it except that he kept putting his hand inside the hat and it looked really strange to me.
     
  17. Cicero

    Cicero Companion

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    Man, level 3 Latin students no less. I feel like an upper level Latin student should be in it for the joy of it and be motivated enough not to cheat. I am curious though, what were they doing? Looking up professional translations or Whitaker's words or something else entirely?

    So sorry Caesar. :( I hope the rest of your students made you proud on their finals.
     
  18. GeetGeet

    GeetGeet Companion

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    He hid his phone in a hat on his desk? What a rookie! ;)

    Why not have the students clear their desks except for approved materials, and then collect phones? You could have each kid wrap their phone in an index card with their name on it and put a rubber band around it, then you collect them in a box and give them back at the end of the test.
     
  19. Ms B IL

    Ms B IL Rookie

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    I would not want to be responsible for that many phones that don't belong to me! If they are broken or stolen you'd be on the hook for phones that may cost up to $600 each!

    I like the idea of having desks cleared and maybe even having them put everything in their bags (if they bring them) and having the bags sit against a wall away from the students. That way there is no temptation and anyone that still tries something is really obvious.
     
  20. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Their desks were clear. My classroom was 42 degrees when the test began. He had been wearing his hat, which was fine with me because it was so cold in there. I guess I didn't notice the second that he took it off and placed it on his desk, but I'm sure I caught it pretty quickly. A hat or a pencil bag, or honestly, even an unused cell phone sitting on a desk top don't bother me as long as students aren't fiddling around with it during the test. That's what caught my attention. (Even though I secretly don't mind if an unused cell phone is out on top of a desk, I did give the instructions--both out loud and in writing on the board--to have all phones put away during the exam period.)

    In any case, no, I will not be collecting cell phones. That's not my responsibility. These kids are juniors. They know the rules.
     
  21. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Whitaker, some other online dictionaries, and some texting/consulting with each other during the exam.

    One student tried to tell me that it was okay to be using is phone to look at the dictionary. I told him that it wasn't okay and reminded him that he had asked me twice during our exam review if it would be okay if used the dictionary his phone or iPad. I reminded him that I told him then that it wasn't okay because I didn't know what else he had on his phone and couldn't be sure that he wasn't accessing unapproved resources.
     
  22. Myrisophilist

    Myrisophilist Habitué

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    Unfortunately there is research that indicates that cheating is very prevalent among high academic achievers. What do you think their motivation was, Caesar?
     
  23. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Laziness.
     
  24. bubbles

    bubbles Rookie

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    I'm sorry to hear about that Caesar. Although I'm a new poster, I've been lurking here awhile and have read a lot of your posts. I can definitely tell that you're a wonderful teacher, and for a long time did not realize you were in such a "difficult" school. I think the fact that you teach Latin, arguably the hardest langauge offered in most high schools, with quite full classes shows that you are indeed not only a great teacher, but one whom the kids admire and respect. I remember taking Latin I-IV in high school not because I really loved the subject, but because I really enjoyed my teacher and wanted to stay in her classes as long as possible!
     
  25. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    I appreciate your comments, bubbles. :) Thanks!

    I really don't know how I'm going to handle this issue. Obviously the students are getting zeros and referrals. I've contacted the coaches of those who are athletes. I'm just not sure how to or even whether to address it otherwise.

    I feel like I've given that class a lot of freedoms, as I generally do at that level. I've always believed that those students have sort of "paid their dues", so things usually lighten up a little in 3rd and 4th year. The workload and my expectations are still serious business, but I usually let them have a little more control over the pacing of the lessons and whatnot. I feel like I need to reconsider the way I handle that class, but I hate to "punish" the rest of the class who didn't cheat. I really don't know what to do.
     
  26. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    That is how you handle it. You use the school honor code and that is that. There is no need for anything else to be done. The other students will know fast enough about their referrals because kids talk. You don't have to say a thing to anyone, just keep going on doing what you were doing. That says 2 things: you will handle any infraction you see and you won't treat the others poorly because of the actions of others.

    Do you want the admin having you visit him every morning when you get to work because several co-workers come to school late? No, you want the admin to deal with them and continue treating you as a responsible teacher. Same thing applies here.
     
  27. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    You're assuming that the honor code matters at my school and that the office will handle it. That's a big, and probably faulty, assumption.
     
  28. bubbles

    bubbles Rookie

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    That's probably the saddest thing I've read in this entire thread :(
     
  29. Rockguykev

    Rockguykev Connoisseur

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    I 100% disagree with this statement. I believe nobody is born with integrity and it must be taught. Toddlers lie and steal without having to be taught how to do it.
     
  30. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    "Non-cognitive skills" including integrity can be taught, even to high school students, with a little know-how and a lot of patience. How Children Succeed is on my bookshelf to tackle when I'm not reading for my classes.

    Back on topic, I have a feeling that Caesar's students do have morals and integrity. The problem was that the students in question decided to suspend theirs in a moment of greed.
     
  31. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

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    I would make sure the parents and any/all honor societies know about the cheating too. If any of the students are stupid enough to ask, I'd also address this matter come recommendation time.
     
  32. ecteach

    ecteach Devotee

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    This is very disappointing. Phones have made it so much easier to cheat. Let us know how it all plays out.
     
  33. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    I've decided that on Tuesday, the first day of the new semester, I will be announcing a few minor changes to our class format. I hope that these changes won't severely impact the students who aren't habitual cheaters.

    First, I will require that all translation assignments (the majority of the work in our class) be turned in, and I won't return them to students. I believe that these four students, and possibly one or two others, have been sharing translations and copying off of each other. This shouldn't be a problem, since the written translation isn't mean to be a crutch--it's just to help students organize their thinking during translation. When we translate in class, they aren't allowed to use their written translations.

    The weekly quiz format will change. Instead of a computer-based translation that focuses on grammar and vocab, they're going to get a piece of text to translate, either at sight or something they've been working on; there will be associated grammar and comprehension questions. They will only have access to a dictionary during the exam. I will monitor them closely to ensure that phones aren't being used. The reason for this change in quiz format is two parts: 1. Because of the rampant cheating on this final, I am concerned that they have been cheating on my computer-based quizzes. It would be so easy to do so, simply opening up a new web page or tab. I don't have computer monitoring software installed on the computers, and the layout of my classroom prevents me from seeing every computer screen at all times. 2. Maybe they were just freaked out by the format of their final exam, which was unlike most of their other quizzes. If I give them written texts to translate every week as assessments, then they will be used to them and shouldn't flip out when it comes time for their second semester final.

    I sincerely hope that these two changes will make things better.
     

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