Thursday, December 15, 2011

Cheating - How to Not Take It Personally

I caught 3 cheaters this semester and I had to remind myself not to take it personally. Let's face it, cheaters typically aren't trying 'one up' their professors by cheating. They are usually just looking for the easy way out of doing the work, trying to get more favorable odds for doing well on an assignment, or chronic procrastinators who feel like the don't have time to do the assignment without cheating. Nevertheless, when most professors catch someone cheating they see it as a sign of personal disrespect or harm done to them. Instead, you probably need to take a step back - take a deep breath - and remember that the cheated has not just metaphorically 'flipped you the bird.'

This isn't to say cheating shouldn't be taken seriously. It should be. However, it is serious not because of what it has DONE to the professor, it is serious because of the harm it can do to those classmates who didn't cheat and might get a lower grade because of it. It also harms the cheater himself/herself since they are not getting the full benefit of the education they are paying for.

Cheaters can not be ignored, they must be dealt with, they must face the serious consequences of their actions, but not so you can retaliate for them hurting you. It must be dealt with so that those who do the hard work on acquiring an education benefit from that work more than those who attempt to avoid the work.