One of my students was caught cheating today. There, I said it. She was cheating. She sat there, her petite stature cradling the notebook in her lap. She had painstakingly written all of the words and definitions in a small notebook at home sometime over the weekend, and now it lay in her lap. While I was helping a student take the test, a student I am often working with and usually write the answers for, she was over there reading the notebook and filling in answers.
My fabulous co-teacher busted her. Took away the notebook and quietly informed me. In my brain I went ballistic.
Later, when I took her in the hall to confront her about it, she broke down in tears. To be expected, she rarely has run-ins with authority, and normally just keeps to herself.
I tried to toughen up - to not let the tears get to me. As I made it clear the significance of her actions (and their dooming consequences on our trustworthy relationship), she told me that she was afraid of doing poorly because her Dad would get really mad at her. She was very specific in naming her "home" consequences.
Great job, Mom and Dad, for pushing your daughter to a point where she feels she has to cheat in order to accomplish her goal - no matter what the cost, she was willing to risk it. Or perhaps I'm being naive, and thinking that she was even able to consider the repercussions of her actions at this age. Whichever the case, I'm disappointed. I hate the first year teacher cuts and scrapes. Dents and Dings.
And, the icing on the cake - when I walked back in the room I overheard Glasses yell at another student over a rousing game of chess "You are seriously pissing me off right now."