Kids Cheating in Classes Using Cell Phones


This image came floating across my Facebook page and I believe this is the source (which I mention so the guy gets more “likes” and doesn’t flip out at me because it’s a fair trade…although you never know, some people flip out for no reason).  
Anyway, the image depicts a fairly clever student who is using his empty sleeve as a decoy while he plugs away on his cell phone under his jacket.
I’m sure some people who are teachers look at this and become aghast and furious at the deceptive nature of this kid.  Then they sit down and start scribbling memos to the entire staff of whatever school they work at, pleading for suggestions as to stop this horrible “plague of technological cheating.”
Really all they’re doing is wasting a bunch of time and energy that they should be dedicating to kids who do not cheat.
Now, I’m sure that even though I’m a licensed teacher and I’ve actually spent a significant amount of time in a classroom (thus…I know what I’m talking about), I’ll get a whole bunch of feedback from idiots who have never set foot in a classroom (except as a student), yet are absolutely sure they know everything there is to know.
I really don’t know why so many teachers think they can “force” students to focus more time on their scholarly endeavors instead of just working slowly to gain their trust and eventually teaching the student that…yeah…it’s in their benefit to learn a few things.
My philosophy is to just say at the beginning of the class, “don’t cheat because it’s in your best interest to learn,” but I don’t then spend all my energy being a psychotic taskmaster who just ASSUMES that all students are liars and deceitful beasts.  Nope, I think the students are best served by making my classes informative and entertaining, and if the students choose not to pay attention to me, then it’s their loss.
That last sentence is the one that most educators scoff at, but the truth is most of the scoffing ones have the personality of a ham sandwich and can’t give an entertaining lecture on any subject.  They’re the ones who sit quietly to the side at dinner parties and listen to my brilliant and hilarious storytelling with envy (yet…as I said before…they still think they deserve to have an opinion on what makes a classroom work).
I truly believe that the only way to ensure a student gets a good education is to tell him/her that s/he is responsible for getting that education.  A teacher shouldn’t be overly focused on keeping kids from cheating…because who gives a crap?  If a student wants to cheat s/he obviously doesn’t want to learn so that student is not worth your time.
I’m telling you that I’ve had good results by saying, “Look, I’ll prepare lessons for you and I’m here to help, but if you don’t want to make a sincere effort to take advantage of this opportunity, I don’t care. You’re autonomous thinkers, you get to make those decisions.  If you want to be losers without skills who can’t get a job, that’s fine with me.”  I’m then free to focus my attention on the kids who give a crap instead of letting the kids who don’t give a crap distract me.
What has always happened is that you get some kids at the beginning of the year who think it’s a license to steal, but as the year goes on and the students who are with the program start demonstrating results, the reluctant ones want to come to the party too.  When they finally admit they started the year with the attitude of a dipshit, I give them a MASSIVE workload to help them get back to where they could have been if they’d started the year right.  Some students wait until the fourth quarter, but they always come around.
The point is that you have EMPOWERED the students to think of their education as THEIRS!  When they understand that, they don’t cheat anymore.
It’s funny though, when I discuss this with most professional educators they think I’m nuts.  Hence, my reluctance to send my daughter to a US school.
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