Thursday, October 25, 2007

How To Bust A Cheater

Paranoid Teacher Man presents the first in a series of guides to the profession.
Today: How To Bust A Cheater

"But I work for CPS," you say. "My kids don't cheat. They don't really care if they pass the test or not."

True that. But remember, as a teacher, your livelihood depends on certain idealistic ideals, such as thinking that you can make a difference in someone's life, that your students remember anything about your class for more than 30 seconds after the bell rings, and that they care so much that they will do anything to get an A. Without these dreams, what do you have? A big paycheck? Ha!

So, you must assume certain things:
  • Your students really want to pass today's test.
  • They formed study groups in the past several days, met at local libraries, and studied until closing time.
  • They brewed pots of coffee, sat in front of computers all night, bleary eyed, in chat rooms and on the Internet, looking for more knowledge.
  • They have created an ingenious and never-before-created system of cheating.
  • You can, and must, defeat these cheaters.
Got it? So ... when you start passing out the test, and about half the students say, "What? We got a test today?" (and the other half appear to be not even paying attention), realize that their reaction is really either A) the result of being so tired from pulling an all-nighter, or B) part of the cheating plan. That's right. They are trying to get you to let down your guard. Don't be fooled.

Look around the room. Every single adolescent has something up his or her sleeve, figuratively and probably literally.

How do students cheat? They signal questions and answers to each other when you least suspect it. Here are a few tell-tale signs to watch for and solutions to the problems:
  • Coughing in bursts. Count the coughs. Each one represents an answer choice. Example: Three quick coughs mean "C" is the correct answer. SOLUTION: Give a zero to any student that asks for a cough drop.
  • Sneezing. And, worse yet, saying "bless you." Listen carefully. You're not that old. Your hearing is still sharp. They're not really saying "bless you" when someone sneezes; in fact, it's probably something like "sixteen" or "Shakespeare." SOLUTION: Give every sneezer a tissue with a big red F written on it.
  • Stretching. Is that kid that's been writing an essay for 15 minutes really shaking out his hand? Or is he sending coded hand signals? You may be thinking it's impossible to send hand signals during an essay test. Oh, really. Is it? SOLUTION: Instruct students to stretch their fingers inside their pockets.
  • Wearing glasses. Isn't it just a little suspicious that the girl that's always squinting at the board is all of a sudden wearing glasses on the day of the test? That's because those aren't regular glasses. They probably have some sort of video camera attachment. SOLUTION: Only allow students to wear contact lenses.
  • Falling asleep. You might be shocked to see a couple of students quickly scribble something on their paper and place their heads on their desks and go to sleep. You are so gullible. As soon as you turn away, thinking the danger of cheating has passed, these "sleepers" open their eyes and cheat their way to a perfect score. SOLUTION: Kick out sleepers. Let them roam the halls for the remainder of the period. Put a zero on their papers.
If all appears quiet on the testing front, sit at your desk, and without looking at anyone in particular, say quietly but confidently, "I can see what you're doing." The guilty party will look up. If several heads look up, you have just uncovered an entire ring of cheaters. Once uncovered, these cheaters must be busted.

Follow these steps, and you should eliminate all cheating in the room. Plus, you'll have very few papers to grade tonight.


Br. Nassir said...

Got in a beef with a student today. During a test, a girl was turned around talking to someone. I told the class no talking. No talking + she was talking = -1
She started crying and said "I hate you as a teacher" and left. At least she doesn't hate me as a person.

appopt said...

Great story!

When I started teaching, I often asked myself, "Would you rather be respected or liked?" It seemed it had to be a choice. These days I'm getting closer to the middle.

Anonymous said...

I can bust a cheater...go to
I have gotten back at alot of peoplee there...