Piper Stephens and Samantha Rands
The Charter Opinions
We all make mistakes, some of which are definitely worse than others, but they are an important part of learning. If this is so, then why do students tend to feel that mistakes made in school are irreparable? Learning from our mistakes and asking for help is how we grow.
“How do you become better tomorrow? By improving yourself, the world is made better. Be not afraid of growing too slowly. Be afraid of standing still. Forget your mistakes, but remember what they taught you. So how do you become better tomorrow? By becoming better today.” ~Ben Franklin
In today’s world, a lot of weight is put on grades and test scores. In an anonymous survey conducted by the Charter, one student said, “I believe that schools lecture to meet the requirements that are set for them. However It is difficult for me to consider a school to be an environment of teaching or learning nowadays. Overall the goal for students is to remember data long enough to spit it out on command and forget that it ever happened so as to make room for the next string of data.”
A majority of students who said that they had cheated on a tests said that their motivation for cheating was stress or a fear of failure. So how many students do cheat? 33 percent of Alliance Charter Academy (ACA) students responded that they had cheated on a test, but 66 percent replied that they hadn’t and wouldn’t consider it.
An anonymous student said in our survey, “I think people who cheat are only cheating themselves. I also think, however, that often times our schools focus only on correct answers and perfection instead of the overall development and education of the student.”
The world doesn’t tend to be tolerant towards people who make mistakes, creating a lot of pressure to succeed. This causes some students to cheat. Do teachers understand this? ACA associate director Jill Mohr said, “I believe that each person is different but some reasons may be: Fear of failure, fear of negative consequences from a bad grade, fear of being looked down on by peers or others, lack of self-confidence, peer pressure to share answers to help another student, not knowing that it was cheating, etc.”
Sixty-three percent of the teachers surveyed said that they had caught a student cheating. “When students cheat, I always write it up. I feel the administration needs to know what’s going on in classes and that there is a record if the student ever tries it again.“ said Chad Wynne, a teacher at ACA.
What should the punishment for cheating on a test be? One student said, “I believe that if the cheating was truly severe, then they will suffer the consequences in the real world. No other actions need to be taken.” The punishment depends on the situation, student, and teacher. Some teachers will deduct points or give an automatic zero, and others will have the student retake the test.
Students should be encouraged to ask for help, instead of being left to resort to cheating. However, some students may be embarrassed to ask for help.
“My opinion probably doesn’t differ much from most teachers. I think it is unfortunate when a student chooses to cheat. If they cheat because they are not confident about the material, I wish that they would ask for help before attempting the assignment or test, so that their teacher can help them. Almost universally teachers want to help their students gain the knowledge they need to be successful and feel confident. The problem is, once a student makes the choice to cheat on a test or assignment, it is too late to ask for help, and then the choice generally comes with a consequence. Not to say that the student can’t still be supported in some way, but at the high school level, cheating has to be taken seriously.” says Megan Burt, an ACA teacher.
If you are struggling and feeling too much pressure, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Teachers are there to help you learn, and if you need help, they will give you what you need. We all make mistakes, but as long as we learn from them they are an important part of growing as a person.
Burt, Megan. Personal Interview. May 11, 2017.
Mohr, Jill. Personal Interview. May 10, 2017.
Stilwell, Chris. Personal Interview. May 16, 2017.
Wynne, Chad. Personal Interview. May 15, 2017.
http://www.newyorker.com/tech/elements/inside-the-cheaters-mind Accessed May 16, 2017.
http://scottberkun.com/essays/44-how-to-learn-from-your-mistakes/ Accessed May 16, 2017.
http://www.azquotes.com/quote/862985 Accessed May 16, 2017.