I was having a conversation last week with a colleague – a fellow educator. We teach the same subject and have even exchanged students this year. On this day, I had a hell of a morning. You know how life goes; somedays things are mostly good and other days it’s all a crap shoot. This was a day I had the urge to flee. I wanted to run from life and it was really the day that I decided that this was not the profession for me. No amount of time, continuing education bullshit, or anything else could make me stay. Anyway, back to the convo (come on brain, stay on track). We were talking about a group of students that had cheated on an assignment. This thing I had assigned them was worth a test grade. It was something that needed to be done independently. I wrote a letter to the students about the assignment and made it the first page they saw every time they opened this packet. They had to complete it over spring break and it was something I had discussed for a solid week with my students before I handed it to them.
These kids come and confront me about me grading the assignment and dividing it by the number of them that had worked on it. They got the credit they deserved. These students freaked out. They were not used to a teacher calling them on their bullshit. We had a talk about it and they were not happy. I sent them to the department head to handle it. This coworker happened to be present when they went to the department head and he heard it all.
My coworker says to me that the kids were voicing their confusion about needing to complete the assignment individually. This was their argument for wanting full credit. I literally wanted to flip a table and scream at the top of my lungs. I had worked for days getting this thing together. Taken my precious off work time to make sure that things lined up. I recorded content and published lectures online. All I needed them to do was to consume the information and answer some questions that would prepare them for an AP exam that’s coming (whether they want it to or not). This is not even what made me a psychopath for a split second. It was the fact that I had shared this very document and plan with the coworker who was vouching for these kids. Okay, I am slightly exaggerating; he wasn’t vouching for them, he just wasn’t as pissed as I was about their half ass excuse. So, I threw a chair, ripped up some papers that were on a nearby counter, and stormed out of the room. THE END.
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