Have you ever read your school handbook? I did the other day (still not sure why) and noticed something interesting. If I’m caught cheating, I’ll get a zero and can be expelled or sent to alternative educational facilities. Is it just me or does that seem like a pretty serious consequence to cheating? The zero I understand, but kicked out for jotting some notes on the side of the desk before the test? Is that really even cheating?
Reading about cheating made me want to research it. If you can be expelled for cheating the same as you would for bringing a weapon to school, cheating must be pretty bad. But what actually constitutes cheating anyway? I guess the cheating that springs to mind is hiding answers to a quiz on your hand, your phone, or the corner of your desk while you are taking it. So rather than learn the material, you are able to get a good grade by “helping” yourself along.
Cheating is Against the Rules – Right?
So obviously cheating is against the rules. The teacher says no cheating, so you can’t cheat. But what if the teacher doesn’t mean it? Sometimes I know a teacher is watching someone in the classroom cheat. I’ve seen one just sit there amused while another student snuck out his calculator to check his work on a test.
If cheating is so terrible, shouldn’t the teacher have collected the test, calculator and student and whisked them away to the office for swift punishment? That didn’t happen. The teacher accepted the paper from the kid and a few days later, the cheater earned his A without the teacher ever saying a thing. So was that cheating?
Is it Cheating?
Here are a few more cheating scenarios to think about:
- You can use a calculator on your final, but not on regular tests in math. If you can use it one the big test, why shouldn’t you use a calculator on all tests? Very logical if you ask me, and possibly why I see so many cell phone calculators out secretly the day of the test. I should mention that my phone is not among the others since I’m too chicken (and maybe even too ethical) to even try to cheat a little.
- You make flashcards to help you study for vocabulary. You work hard to memorize the cards, but struggle with a word or two. What happens if you just keep the flashcards by your desk discretely flipping through while taking the quiz? After all, when will you ever have to use memorized words and spelling in real life (besides all the time!)?
- Your teacher lets you make a note card with formulas for this test. You create a wonderful card and then pull it out again for the next test, too. If you made a “cheat sheet” with permission, can you use it on other tests and quizzes, too? Should you just add a few new formulas every time you come across one for the next big test?
- If your friend happens to whisper answers in your direction and you accidentally hear what she is saying, are you cheating? You didn’t ask for help, but it was provided. Is having one crazy friend enough to get you kicked out of school? In some areas it may very well be!