>> Saturday, December 11, 2010
Oh My Goodness, the cheating on tests is out of control!
I was on facebook and saw that my 8th grade English teacher (Hi Mr. Hayes!) was grading papers. He was noting that he had already found 8 students who had copied their book reports off the internet. When I read this I instantly thought, "How dense are those kids? Mr. Hayes tells them numerous times that he will be checking and with all of the problems it's just plain smarter to read the lousy book?" But then I thought about my classes and how the children are not only expected to cheat but it's encouraged. With the education system and bribes and blah blah blah it's simply expected.
During my tests that I give the students I try my hardest to split the students but then they just yell across the classroom at each other and the teacher laughs. I thought this was pretty bad but I was recently witness to the most intense cheating EVER. It's time for Country-wide testing. All 9-11 form students come to school on a Saturday and take a test that can last for 1-3 hours ranging on all of the subjects they are enrolled in. A student asked one of my counterparts for her cell phone number for the test and she gave it to him. I didn't even bother asking why, it was one of those days. I didn't care.
That Saturday brought me to my club in the village. Since the older students were getting ready for the test I was just waiting for the younger kids to come. A group of 10th form girls came in and asked for my phone number.
Me: "Sure, but why?"
Them: "For the test."
Me: "What do you mean, you'll be in the test?"
Them: "If I don't know an answer I'll text you and you'll send the answer."
WHAT? This was completely normal. When I explained that I wouldn't do that they all got pretty angry with me and said that this is Azerbaijan not America and I live here. I stood firm with my no and they stomped off complaining about how I was rude and they would fail. I began asking just about every teacher I came into contact with this week and found out that they all do it. I was in shock, no wonder I can't get honesty out of my kids in class. Cheating is expected of them.
This made me cut back to America and I was even angrier with the students who cheat there because they are given these opportunities and are throwing them away. Uh oh, cut to 12th grade where I didn't study, cheated, got caught and was terribly embarrassed. After seeing this intense cheating and with that watching the learning opportunities slip away from these kids, I'm truly ashamed of that time.
My new goal is to calm down when the kids cheat because they're taught to do it. To use these new emotions and realizations to do some good and to push integrity even more than before. This is the new goal...integrity.