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