Rules For Posting To This Blog and Weekly Blog Question

1. Only use your first name (no last names, addresses, IM screen names, etc.)
2. Show respect and consideration of others when posting and commenting. This includes individuals, students, organizations, political parties, colleagues, etc.
3. Check all posts for spelling and grammar errors before posting.
4. Protect the privacy of others. Gain permission from other people before you write about them. Avoid sharing someone else's last name. Use job titles or pseudonyms when writing about experiences with your co-workers or students.
5. Watch your language. Use politically correct and non-offensive language.
6. Make sure you write about things that are factual.
7. Keep your postings education-oriented. Avoid discussing plans for the weekend, etc.

This week I would like you to use your imagination. You have just won the lottery and will leave your teaching post immediately to travel around the world. As you leave your keys you meet your replacement. You are asked to give this new teacher just ONE piece of advice. What would that be, and why? Enjoy your world expedition!

Blog Post - Week 7
This past week in my own teaching I felt a little disconnected which prompts my question to you, "What was the moment (or moments) when I felt most disconnected or disengaged as a teacher - the moment(s) I said to myself, I'm just going through the motions here?"

Fall Semester 2016 Blog Post - Week 6
For the past couple of weeks you have experienced asynchronous online learning (doing modules by yourself). Previously this semester you have experienced synchronous online learning (all together in the Collaborate room). Which do you think is more effective and why do you think that? Which do you like better, and why?

Fall Semester 2016 Blog Post - Week 5
This week we have what we call "open mic." You can write a post about anything related to your teaching that you would like responses from your classmates.

Fall Semester 2016 Blog Post - Week 4
Here is this week's question: "What was the event that most took me surprise this week - and event that shook me up, caught me off guard, gave me a jolt, or made me unexpectedly happy?"

Fall Semester 2016 Blog Post - Week 3
Please write a post about the following question, "In thinking about my past week teaching what is one thing I would do differently, and why?"

Fall Semester 2016 Blog Post - Week 2
Please write a post about the following question, " In thinking about my teaching activities this past week, of what do I feel most proud? Why?"

Fall Semester 2016 Blog Post - Week 1
Describe something you used in your program in the first weeks of school that you learned in the summer NTI program. How did it work? Did it get you off to a stronger start than last year?

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

"What was the situation that caused me the greatest anxiety or distress this past week - the kind of situation that I kept replaying in my mind as I was dropping off to sleep, or caused me to say to myself, I don't want to go through this again for a while?"

My situation was actually last week.

I may have made an assumption about a student incorrectly but acted to what I felt was according to the indications of the situation.

I gave a test and toward the end of the session was walking around again and I came upon a desk with a student finishing a test. I looked on the floor and noticed that his study guide was laying on the floor visible but seemingly hidden. I felt my blood pressure skyrocket. I was furious but I walked away and contemplated what to do. Was he cheating? The indications were certainly there.
I felt as though I had no choice. I made a decision to give him a zero and a referral. I emailed his mom that afternoon explaining the situation. She was seemingly understanding but was insistent that he had just been careless and not put his study guide away well enough and that she had studied with him over the past few days. She ask if there was anything I would/could do and I agreed to give him a separate test the next day.
In my annoyed state I made a harder test. Probably not the best choice. I gave it to him sent him to my neighbors classroom with a pen and his test. He left and returned within 6 minutes. Curious about how he did I graded it-
And of course...He aced it. Missed one question out of 25.
Now I can't prove that he wasn't cheating-but given the short amount of time between tests-the changed difficulty of the test and the amount of time he completed it-He seemed to know the material very well.
Needless to say I felt like kind of a jerk. I told him that if I misread the situation that I apologize but that he put me in a very precarious situation and that he needed to be careful about appearances. He said he understood and has honestly been one of my more pleasant students since. His mother even thanked me and apologized again for the situation.
The outcome came out ok but for days afterward I felt pretty bad about it.


T Watts said...

Don't beat yourself up.

Sometimes we have to make decisions without having all of the information, or all of the correct information, at our disposal. I think that, under the circumstances, you did what any of us would have done. I don't think that makes you a jerk, it makes you human and someone learning how to be an effective teacher.

Students need to understand that sometimes appearances are everything. I stress to my students that life isn't always about succeeding, but about putting yourself in a position to be successful. You won't always get the break or make the cut, but if you can put yourself in a position to succeed, more often than not, you'll come out for the better.

I think the student, who seems to know his stuff, learned a bit of that from this situation. If it appears you are cheating, then that is going to be the label you get. So he, as the student, has to make sure that all appearances of wrongdoing are eliminated. That's a good lesson to learn.

For what it's worth, I think you handled the situation great.

SD Curry said...

I don't think you overreacted at all with the situation. I would have most likely thought the same thing since the study guide was visible on the floor. I agree, don't beat yourself up about it because I am sure many teachers would have thought the same way. It is good to know that you have a student that actually studies and does what he supposed to do. I also agree with Tuck's other statement about the student learning a lesson. It wasn't an easy one to learn, but I believe it will help him in the future. He will be more careful if he was actually being honest.

You handled it well in my opinion.