To all the other high school english teachers...

Discussion in 'Secondary Education Archives' started by mtlxiaoangel, Nov 16, 2006.

  1. mtlxiaoangel

    mtlxiaoangel New Member

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    Nov 16, 2006

    I teach a senior Advanced Placement Literature class, and I have recently come across a problem. That day, signed progress reports were due and I was walking about collecting them and I encountered one of my students who did not have his. When I asked him where his was, he told me that he had accidentally left a folder at home that had his progress report. I told him that I needed it back by the next day, but before I was able to walk away, he told me he had a question about his progress report because he had a missing assignment that he claimed he did. The only problem was, that the same assignment was in that same folder he had left at home. The next day, he brought both to me, the progress report and the assignment. Upon further inspection, the grade on the paper looked somewhat odd, so I confronted him about it the next day, asking him if he had forged the grade on it or not. He denied it and asked me if I remembered reading his paper. I know that I was in a hurry to grade these and gave completion grades on these essays. Now, here is the question: as an AP english teacher, is it wrong that I do not remember his paper? Am I just overreacting? I mean, I could have been tired and written the grade sloppily. What am I to do? If I send him to honor council, he will be dismissed from all extracurricular activities, and this boy is a track star and is involved with a multitude of different clubs and organizations. Please help!
     
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  3. AngelEyes

    AngelEyes Rookie

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    Nov 16, 2006

    Were there any prewriting assignments for this particular paper, like a graphic organizer, notes, a rough draft, etc.? If so, could you check his to see that he actually did them? Also, do you normally make other marks on papers, like suggestions for improvement or grammar corrections? If not, I'd say the thing to do is to give him the grade (since you're unsure) and chalk it up to experience. Maybe on future assignments you could require all parts turned in together at the end and/or you could make other marks on the papers. Maybe you could even use a stamp to leave your 'mark' on papers turned in on time...
     
  4. wunderwhy

    wunderwhy Comrade

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    Nov 16, 2006

    I say that it's a tough situation, and as much as the idea that he is scamming you bothers you, I think it would be worse to unfairly penalize an innocent student. I'd probably just let it go . . . obviously if the kid's plan is to forge grades on papers, you're on to him now and he won't ever get away with it again. If you really think he didn't actually have the paper, you could not count the grade (but don't count it as a zero either). That way, he's not rewarded for possible cheating, but he's also not penalized for something you can't prove.

    I think one of my students might have erased and changed an answer on a test and then told me I marked it wrong. She had definitely erased an answer, but the question is whether or not it was erased while she was taking the test. I don't know, so I gave her the benefit of the doubt. I won't change the grade if it happens again.

    Another student told me that he is sure that he made up a quiz, and in this case, I don't believe him. He is anxiety-ridden, suffers from low self-esteem, and was suspended from school for writing violent things in another class. I believe he was so overwhelmed with trying to catch up with his work when he got back that he got mixed up. However, there have been enough times when I have found something later that a student actually did that I just excused him from the assignment. I explained to him that since I usually don't lose things, I probably wouldn't believe him if this happened again.

    I try to give kids the benefit of the doubt the first time, but if it happens again, then it's a matter of crying wolf. I also make a different mark for answers left blank than for answers marked wrong, so I can tell if a student left an answer blank and then tried to tell me I marked it wrong when it was right.
     
  5. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Virtuoso

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    Nov 17, 2006

    I saw over 100 students per day as a high school teacher . . . and a little under that as a middle school teacher now . . . and I date stamp assignments as I get them in. I went to an office supply store and had them make me one with my name and the date. It says "Assignment In" and then the date, and then my name.

    When we're doing writing assignments, I have one with the draft numbers on it.
     
  6. trulyblssd

    trulyblssd Companion

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    Nov 17, 2006

    Give him the benefit of the doubt! We all miss place things and can't remember things from time to time. Just keep you eyes open going forward.
     
  7. Alaskanteach

    Alaskanteach Cohort

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    Nov 23, 2006

    I can always "recognize" essays I have read even though I don't always remember where I read them or when.. I have caught students plagiarizing before that way.. I like the stamp idea though
     

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