What is that on the baby?

Some of you have asked what was all over the baby -- finger paint. Yes, finger paint.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Cheaters Never Win? Don't Be So Sure...

Most anyone reading this knows I teach English in a district high school in a major city. What you may or may not know is that I teach mostly sophomores because I  have a good history of standardized test scores and I actually enjoy 10th grade. Most people don't, so I had some leverage to get a treat class. As a concession to my sacrifice, I've also been given a 12th grade creative writing elective. It's wonderful, but I do tend to spoil that class. There are occasional days of sitting around, chatting about school, becoming adults, working, and whatnot. This NEVER happens in my sophomore classes.

Anyway, during one of these chat sessions, it came out that their honors/AP class group is the craziest group of cheaters ever to walk the halls of our high school. This clutch of cheaters includes some of the top 10 kids in the school, including the would be valedictorian and salutatorian. They started telling me that they cheated here, and they cheated there. Nothing unusual at first, but it just kept getting worse. I'll give you some examples. Mind you, all of these have been successful  to some degree.

Here are a few of their more innovative schemes:

1. They dig through the recycling bins and mailboxes looking for discarded copies of their teachers tests, and hang around the copy room in hopes that teachers will forget the master copy in the machine.

2. They google questions from their AP exams on their phones. They also record themselves slowly reading chapters of textbooks into their phones, download them to their IPODs and play them during their tests while pretending to listen to music.

3. They have elaborate hand signals (a virtual sign language) for cheating.

4. They use their phones as calculators because our school doesn't have enough for every class -- but they text each other the answers. Those classes with calculators store info in them directly.

5. They write cheat sheets in places that teachers can't ask to check or would never think to check -- high up on a thigh under a skirt, and on each other's backs.

6. They do the traditional note passing, but also engage in more elaborate plans with cheat sheets in odd places and a Q & A session on the bathroom wall.

7. Of course they plagiarize from the internet, which is fairly easy to catch. But they also write each others papers and take each others tests.

8. They steal tests and trade or sell them to other classes or absent students.

9. They try to hack into their teachers' email, and know that their math teacher puts his test in his mailbox the night before to xerox it in the morning.

10. They managed to cheat on a real standardized test and were working on a system for the SAT.

Anyway 2 days after my students boasted, they got busted when a kid in their math class ratted them out. She said she earned her F in calculus and would be damned if other kids were getting A's by cheating and bragging about it. Now, the class has to take tests in the cafeteria, monitored by the administration. They actually had the balls to bitch -- "they're treating us all like we're guilty." I find this hysterical.

Damn straight we're treating you all like you're guilty. First, most of you are. Secondly, if you aren't the circumstances of your test shouldn't matter. Thirdly, you sound even more guilty when you complain that the school is doing something to stop the cheating. And lastly, stop whining -- as you would text:"U R BUS-TED." BWHAHAHAHAHAHA!

These Kids Are Crazy!


  1. I once trimmed a post-it and taped it to the back of my student ID. I think I might have chickened out before going through with it, though.

  2. Ipods and texting. Kids have it too easy these days. In my day, if you wanted to team cheat, you had to learn semaphore.

  3. Sheez! In my day, cheating pretty much consisted of Cliff Notes.

  4. tekietek: It figures you wouldn't be able to go through with it. =-)

    Homemaker Man: In your day, people got hurt passing notes because they were carved on stone tablets.

    Viv: I know. I honestly can't keep up. If it weren't for the fact that they snitch on themselves, I'd never catch more than 1/2 of them.

  5. Wow...they should get points for the sheer inventiveness of these schemes. I was too lazy to cheat.


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