|Cheating: Take Action!
Perhaps the most important thing to learn about cheating is that there are many, many ways to help keep it out of your life. Here are some ideas:
Work with a parent or guardian
Work with your teachers or school counselors
- Understand your family's attitudes about cheating, and how you'd get punished if you got caught cheating.
- Talk about school in general, and be honest about how you're doing in your class subjects.
- If you've been feeling a lot of pressure about grades, talk about how these expectations make you feel.
- Ask for advice on doing better in school and getting good grades without having to cheat.
- If you're struggling, discuss options like private tutors or other school study programs.
- If you don't have enough time to study, talk about cutting back on non-school activities.
- Ask adults about what they did about the problem of cheating when they were in school.
- Discuss the difference between earning good grades and getting them by cheating.
Work with your friends
- Make sure you understand which activities your teacher views as cheating so that there's no question about it.
- Make sure you know all the rules and requirements for assignments and tests, and when it's okay to work with other students.
- When writing papers and projects, make sure you know all the rules about giving credit for quotes and other people's ideas.
- Make sure you know your school's official penalties for cheating.
- If you're struggling in class or finding the work too hard, tell your teacher or counselor about it.
- If you feel your teacher could do more to prevent cheating, be honest about it.
- If you know of ways that kids are getting away with cheating, discuss it with your teacher or counselor.
Make it easy to resist the temptation to cheat
- Make sure your friends know that you want to earn the grades that you get.
- If you feel that cheating is a big deal, make sure your friends know this.
- Talk about how cheating is the same thing as lying.
- Talk about how cheating is unfair to those who actually do the work.
- Don't agree to trade answers on any assignments or tests.
- It's okay to study together, but remember that homework assignments should be completed alone.
- Don't offer your homework or assignments for anyone else to look at, and don't ask to look at anyone else's.
- Try not to sit near anyone who you know to be a cheater.
- Try not to support or congratulate anyone who finds a way to cheat.
Start an honor code
- Take as little as possible into the test, like just your pencil and your brain.
- Don't write notes on anything that you could look at during a test.
- Keep all your books and papers where you can't easily see them.
- Keep your eyes on your paper, and sit away from your friends if you can.
- If somebody starts whispering to you, pretend you don't hear it.
- Cover up your paper so that others can't cheat off you.
- Try not to do anything that you would have to hide from your teacher.
- Relax, and focus on the answers that you do know.
- Try to accept that it isn't always possible to get a perfect grade, and do your best.
Honor codes are one important way that some schools are trying to defeat cheating. They're most common in colleges, but can work in any school as long as students, teachers and administrators all agree that cheating should be stopped. Basically, honor codes are about students making a promise to remain honest, follow the rules of tests and assignments, and never to cheat. They usually include promises like this:
Honor codes remind people that it isn't just up to teachers and school staff to put an end to cheating, and that students must play a big role in the solution. By promising not to cheat, promising not to help others cheat, and promising to report incidents of cheating, students can make a commitment to the entire school, not just to their friends.
- I will not lie, cheat, or steal in school.
- I will not help others cheat or be dishonest.
- I will talk to people I think are being dishonest and tell them to stop.
- If I see any type of cheating, I will tell a teacher about it.
- I will always follow my conscience and try to do the right thing about cheating.
The bottom line is that cheating hurts the students who cheat, the students who don't, and the entire school. To beat it, everyone must take personal responsibility and devote himself or herself to getting ahead without cheating, and to find ways to stop others from cheating, too. Without cheating, school is more fun, more interesting, less stressful, and a better place to learn.
Copyright © 2005 CastleWorks, Inc. All rights reserved.