For the older kids, at the end of each course book we are supposed to give a final test that focuses on listening, grammar, and vocabulary. Last week I was giving a test to one of my classes and as the test was going on I was circulating the room helping some kids who needed some help when I saw some students’ eyes begin to wander.

I immediately knew what was going on. They were cheating! It was so funny to watch because I did most of those same moves back in the day; the quick peek, the stretch and yawn, the look at your watch, the straight up sharing answers, etc. I just want to say how shocked and appalled I am that these kids don’t take more care in their craft.

When I “allegedly” (no charges have ever been brought against me, nor have I ever been accused) cheated I would have at least waited until the teacher turned their back to me or wasn’t looking. These kids were pretty bold. I guess the old adage, “if you’re not cheating your not trying” really holds true here.

But it made me think. Was I really as good as I thought I was? I was never caught, but how many times did a teacher see my eyes wander and do nothing? I decided to repay the favor/luck I had received over the years, and let their infraction go.

Does that make me a good person and a bad teacher, or a bad person and a good teacher? Feedback is welcomed.


About JoelS

Spending a year teaching English and saving the world in China
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One Response to Cheaters

  1. Shirin Rose says:

    Joel-y you cheated?!?! GASP!!! 🙂
    In my opinion, you have to look at the scale of the cheating. If they’re copying, word for word, from each other then you probably should say something. But, if they’re just peaking here and there, then look at it as kids (whatever age they are) trying to impress you by how much they know, or don’t know. The truth is, the ones that cheat have clearly not learned what they needed to learn, and they’ll end up in the dumb English classes next year when they can’t prove they know it well enough (okay I’m not sure that last part is true, but you know what I mean?). I’m not saying cheating is okay, and my dad – a college professor – would tell you that any time you catch someone cheating you should call them out on it. But, I think if you haven’t seen word for word cheating or blatant talking to each other about the answers cheating, then you probably did the right thing to let it slide. Okay, one last thing – on the other hand, if it’s the same kids cheating all the time, that’s something you probably need to watch out for…just sayin! 🙂 Have fun with your family!!!!!

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