Sunday, January 28, 2007

Oh, dear...

Where has the time gone?? I haven't posted in over a month, and I've been missing my little blogging corner.

In my defense, I avoided anything teacher-related over winter break. I needed me time, and I got it. By the end of the break, I was bored to tears...sixteen days with nothing to do will do that to an antsy person like me, I suppose. After doing nothing for over two weeks, I've been busy, busy, busy since school started back up.

I'm taking a break from grading freshman essays. These kids don't proofread!! And many of them don't know the difference between an argumentative essay and a summary...despite the fact that I explained it in about twelve different ways and showed them the difference. But what can a little English teacher do?? Make them re-write it!!

As I was reading through a batch of them yesterday, I noticed a line in one that simply didn't sound like a student wrote it...especially a freshman student. It was so insightful that I'm not even sure if I could accomplish such a beautiful line. So, I started scanning the rest of his essay. On doing this, I noted that he'd cited quotations by line...the version of the play we read didn't have line numbers...interesting. Needless to say, I Googled his essay, and oddly enough, I found it...nearly word-for-word on an essay site. Strange. Busted!!
Tomorrow morning I'm going to ask him to explain the line to me...see if he can do it.

I've got so much more to say, but I have to read all the blogging I've missed in my absence from blog world...and I suppose I should get back to my essays. The red pen is calling. (I don't care how detrimental it is to their little egos...I like red!!)

p.s. If you can't tell, I've had entirely too much coffee. If I was speaking to you, I'd be talking 100 miles a minute...

14 comments:

teachergirl said...

So glad you're back. Was beginning to worry. Take care...

elementaryhistoryteacher said...

I feel your pain. My team has had a problem lately with one particular parent completing all of her child's homework for him. The reason....he was tired. None of it was counted.

Last year I had one student complete a book report by copying word for word the teaser information from the back of the book. I knew it wasn't his work when he included all of the book review information as well.......

Miss Profe said...

Welcome back to the blogosphere!

Ms. H said...

Howdy BloggAmigo....long time, no see.

Don't worry too much about the red pen crushing their little souls....I used purple last year on the junior themes in an attempt to NOT bleed all over their papers. Thanks to their lack of basic writing/editing skills -- all I got for my trouble were papers that looked like the dropcloths used to clean up the crime scene from where Barney was hacked to death.

M said...

The internet and plagarism must be such a hard thing to police!

I go back to school tomorrow. *cry*

CrypticLife said...

Also, glad you're back. I enjoy reading your adventures and struggles against VCVB, difficulties with students, parents, etc.

Of course, coming from the business world your casually mentioning 16 days off turns my stomach, but c'est la vie.

When I was in school you could fail a class (the whole thing) for such plagiarism. At least, I thought you could -- I don't know of anyone who actually tested the threat. I'd say he should at the very least get a zero for the work, and maybe a separate minus as well.

Dennis Fermoyle said...

Welcome back, AT, and I certainly understand you staying away for awhile. I know I've kind of been feeling the blogging blahs myself lately. And don't you just hate having to deal with cheating?

The Student said...

I'm looking for interesting teachign related blogs to read and luckily I've found yours. As a future first-year teacher (in about 2 years) I'll be reading your blog with a close eye in the coming days. Good luck with the teaching (and the ego-crushing!)

Jane said...

I really do think that teaching hs must be such a challenge! My fourth graders copy all the time-from each other, but they are so easily caught. You really have to be on the alert. And, then there is dealing with it too. Not much fun.

Strausser said...

Thank goodness most of my plaigerizers (spelling??) are not the smartest knives in the drawer. I recently had a student simply copy and paste something from the net into their paper without proofing it. Now this was pretty obvious because besides the text he also grabbed the caption to a picture so right in the middle of the sentence it read "as you can see in this painting of a mother and her child...."

I found the page on the net with the text and the picture, I printed it off and attached it his paper with the comment "here is the picture you forgot to include - just trying to help out"

zuzuzpedals said...

Had to leave this for cryptic life. My husband is in the business world, a middle manager. One year, just for grins, we calculated the number of hours he spends at work vs the number I spend. I included my summer training workshops, week long and voluntary, but still ... I expected to come close, with all of my time off, but my typical 50-60 hour work weeks when I'm "on," but was flabbergasted to discover I put in more hours than he does. He, of course, makes twice what I do (and I'm glad for it! :). Someone has to support my teaching calling). I love what I do; shudder at the thought of not being able to reach so many teenagers with so much crucial learning, but chafe a bit when people say they envy my time off.

oldandrew said...

In England a lot of our major qualifications have a coursework component, i.e. projects that every student must do.

This has lead to plagiarism going completely out of control. As teachers are often judged on how many students pass, we have no incentive to do anything about plagiarism and if anything teachers end up helping students cheat.

jspeter said...

Plagarism is something that is hard to detect. As educators it is important to keep a close eye on this. We need to let the students know that it does not get them anywhere and it is not allowed. Once they get away with it they will keep relying on using someone else's work

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