Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Your Own Work

"What did you get for B?"

"What did you get for C?"

"For D?"

They were doing a worksheet on the skeleton. Each letter pointed at a different bone. Instead of looking it up in his book, Alejandro asked classmates for answers.

Well, that's one way to do it. I guess...

Alejandro's desk was empty of all but the worksheet. No book. No notes.

I quickly put a stop to his trolling for answers. Many of the students did not reply, but a few did. I mean, it's one thing to ask a classmate to help out when you're stuck, but quite another if you're not even trying.

*shakes head*

(Of course, this turned out to be the least of my issues with Alejandro that period...)

Today's A to Z Challenge post brought to you by the letter...


Does this story worry you about today's youth? (Alejandro is in the minority. Most students diligently complete assignments.) Did you ever try to get your fellow students to do your work for you?

26 comments:

  1. I have this in my WIP. The sidekick is always trying to get the MC to do his homework or help him--which the MC will probably just end up doing the work. :)

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    1. Helping is one thing. I guess that's what it is then, though. The other students just want the one kid to shut up? I can understand that.

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  2. This goes back to a debate I had with PT and Rusty and others when I did my great Star Wars quiz. The issue was whether it counts, in getting the answer, if you had to look it up. Some felt (I think Rusty was on this side? I'm not sure) that looking something up wasn't fair because if you didn't know the answer you shouldn't get the question right. Others (including me) felt like however you knew it, you knew the answer. So if I had a quiz on my blog and you happened to know the answer because you saw the movie, and Rusty knew it because he googled the answer, you both know the answer, in my mind.

    That's sort of how I feel about this kid. Maybe the intent of the assignment wasn't to ask others, but if the object was "Fill in this worksheet using outside sources" he wasn't technically doing anything wrong.

    What I think is a bit different is that he was simply relying on others' knowledge, ALONE, which is somewhat different than "knowing how to find out stuff you don't know." With my staff, I ask that they have an answer to a question -- a reasonable answer -- before they ask me a question. That shows me they thought about the question before they simply gave up and asked me. So if some lawyer of mine comes in and says "What do the statutes say about..." I'm likely to say "What DO they say?"

    It makes me kind of annoying, I guess. So for this kid I'd have probably explained that while asking people is ONE way to learn stuff, the goal was to make him do the thinking on his own and to quit relying on people.

    Your blog really makes me think.

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    1. That is a good point. Where does it say in the rules that he can't just ask his classmates?

      My issue is that he's taking it easy while the other students are working, and he's profiting off their work. To a certain extent. I'd rather he know how to find the answer and in the finding, he is more likely to retain the information. Then come test time, he's more likely to get those questions right.

      I'll have to store this away for the next time. For there's sure to be a next time. There's always one...

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  3. That is concerning, but there have always been cheaters...and it always puts the good students in a tough position. They feel pressured to help, especially if the cheater is a bully or someone of high social standing within the school.

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    1. That is a problem. Maybe with all the focus on eliminating bullying in the schools, kids won't feel as pressured to "help out" the 800-pound gorilla in this way. A good side benefit if it ends up helping.

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  4. What is the point of the assignment? Will he use the worksheet to study for an exam?
    Is the positive side of this the fact that at some level he did care enough to want to know the answers?
    I suppose you were not surprised that there were other issues with Alejandro.

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  5. What bothers me most about Alejandro is that he appears to have given up. He apparently has more confidence in his peers' answers than in any he could have found on his own. Has there been no reward in past efforts? Why did he give up? It's probably a lot of reasons...problems at home, inability to make friends. Who knows? A challenge though for you, his teacher. I would be frustrated and trying to figure out what makes this kid tick. Just reacting....and as typical with me, wanting to fix things. Doesn't always work though. Sharon @ Shells–Tales–Sails

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    1. And I'm only there for one day, so there's not much I can do. Sometimes we'll just talk.

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  6. Teachers are overworked and there is so much stress that you have from you can teach and what you do in any form of discipline. I always believed that discipline, done properly-no throwing of chalk etc...:) shows that the teacher does care. I would ask why he did not find it interesting enough, he might be slipping through the cracks but then how can a teacher help a student when they are often so overworked. I have to hand it to you-I could not do your job-I tip my hat

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  7. With all that hard work in not doing work, it sounds like he's going to make a good manager some day.

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  8. It must be a tough job being a teacher..sounds like you have your challenges and handle them well :)

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  9. It must be very frustrating sometimes to be a teacher. However, I can't help but feel that Alejandro's resourcefulness will serve him well. Sometimes a weakness is just the flip side of a strength and I think if channeled properly, Alejandro could be set up for success but like everything-this would involve time and commitment and too often nowadays, parents expect teachers to be miracle workers when they are just part of the equation. Keep up the good work-I know it is tough and I am always so grateful for teachers that strive to make a difference. :)
    www,foreignfeasts.com

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    1. Yeah, if he would just channel that into something constructive... Well, maybe one day. He's young yet.

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  10. Doing your own work is so valuable for many reasons, not just to get the answer- all the fringe learning in seeking the info yourself is great too.
    And yes, this scares me about youth today.

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  11. Its good to hear that he is in the minority. I think my son was in that minority too. Its refreshing to hear that other students were ignoring him and not giving him the answer.

    betty

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  12. Yeah, it's not right, and glad to hear there aren't many like him. I always tell my son, you have the put the work in, that's the only way.
    Great post, Liz.
    Silvia @
    SilviaWrites

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  13. I never tried to get anyone else to do my work (they would't have done it to my satisfaction).

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    1. Ah, a perfectionist. I encounter those, too. I let them know that it's just a worksheet and it doesn't have to be pristine.

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  14. Sounds a bit like me in a staff meeting ;)

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  15. I never knew teaching was a touch job !....But it seems you are doing great !....I am glad I met you through A-Z challenge .....Happy blogging for rest of the year Liz !

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  16. Hah! I know a kid just like that. Anyway, I was in this Spanish class as a 7th grader, where most the kids were Sophomores, and I got all kinds of awesome attention because they wanted the answers from me. They didn't get them, by the way, or at least not all of them. =)

    True Heroes from A to Z

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