These 5 Random Teacher Experiences Make Me Want To Teach Even More Now

These 5 Random Teacher Experiences Make Me Want To Teach Even More Now

"I will leave random fake keys laying around when I'm bored."

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Teaching is something that I've been trying to do ever since I got into college. Teaching can open up many new horizons in education and understanding in the field we choose to teach (biology, psychology, English, etc.) I decided to ask a couple of teachers (on Quora as an anonymous user) about their experience with students cheating on exams/assignments. I couldn't be more excited by the results, and even more excited by the experiences shared. The teachers' names will remain anonymous.

1. That's the key

"On accident one time I left my key out for an exam. The thing was, I used bubble sheets. But I had grabbed a random one, and wrote key on it, for the unit four exam for trigonometry.

Problem was, the bubble sheet was an extra from the unit three exam for geometry they were going to take next class. It said 'Unit 3: Geometry' on the top along with my handwritten 'Key.' A kid saw it on my desk, copied it, and shared it to his buddies that he had the unit three exam.

Test day came, and a ton of kids got a 24% (12 out of 50). I was curious, then realized that their pattern matched my key for trig exactly. So I accidentally caught 42 students willing to cheat.

Since then, I will leave random fake keys laying around when I am bored. They are keyed to 10-50% just to mess with the cheaters."—Teacher 1

2. The monster in the cage

"Not a cute mistake, but an awesome one. For a writing assignment, I gave my grade six a Cambridge Checkpoint past paper. The final written task was:

Scientists have a monster in a cage. They are in a secret underground bunker.
The military is involved and the president must be kept up to date.

Continue the story…

This girl, Celine, was not very academic. At all. Ever. But she was a sweet girl and I wanted her to do well. In her story she wrote:

The monster was in the cage. The scientists were all around the cage staring in at the monster… and I stared back.

AND I STARED BACK?! Holy crap, that's awesome! This grade six had some incredibly smart students yet none of them had put in a twist like that. I read that bit to the whole class and they were shocked and delighted. Immediately after I read '… and I stared back,' the class was shocked into silence. They then burst into applause for this shy little girl who had put in a twist and an amazing perspective.

The mistake was… she had meant to write 'it' instead of I. I knew this but I wanted her to enjoy being the best in class, even if it was just for a short while."—Teacher 2

3. Capital letters

"I was teaching a class of 15- and 16-year-olds who struggle with English. We were covering capital letters and when to use them:

Me: So, if we go to London... that's a place, so it needs...?
Class: A capital letter!
Me: Fantastic! And if we go to the British Museum, it's a place, so it needs...?
Class: A capital letter!
Me: Great stuff! And if we go to London Zoo? What does London Zoo need?
Class: Animals!




I loved that class."—Teacher 3

4. "Myseled"

"I give the runners that I coach a written evaluation after each race. Course marshals sent my athletes the wrong way at one race back in 1999, and one of my senior girls got very upset about it. For her evaluation, I noted that she had gotten misled (pronounced as miss-led). She found me in the hallway the next day and asked what 'mysel-ed' means. I have never forgotten that moment, and to this day I pronounce 'misled' as 'myseled.' The word just sounds funny to me.

Today, I kid you not, I read an essay in which an eleventh-grade girl wrote, 'Americans, nomader how hard they try, cannot determine their own destiny.' She meant 'no matter.' I love stuff like this!"—Teacher 4

5. Glasses

"I was sitting on a chair. The class was sitting on the floor around me, coming to a conclusion about something. Suddenly one of those eight-year-olds said to me, "Sir, can I try your glasses on?"

I don't know why I agreed. I hate being without them because I have such bad eyesight, but somehow his curiosity got the better of me, and I wanted to show I trusted him, I suppose. A bit of sharing before the next part of the lesson…

So I handed the heavy lenses to him, asking him to be careful. And reassuring me that he would, he fitted the now oversized frames onto his face.

First, he blinked hard, then looked around the classroom, squinting. Then he stood up and tried looking out the window. Then he sat down again, solemnly taking them off and handing them back with great care.

"Cor, blimey," he said. "You must have really good eyesight to be able to see through them glasses."

I think I went up in his estimation."—Teacher 5

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Just Because You're Struggling in College, Doesn't Mean You're Stupid

A reminder we all need sometimes.
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I have a pet peeve. It's something that seems small, but it has the potential to do an untold amount of damage. It goes something like this:

Freshman year, I took general chemistry.

Having gone to a grossly underfunded high school that only offered one chemistry class (which was mostly aimed to satisfy the state requirements for high school graduation, and not to foster budding young chemists), I fell behind almost immediately.

I was working on our first homework assignment (unit conversions, to my dismay), and I was hopelessly confused, so I asked one of my classmates for help. I figured what I needed help on was pretty minor, so asking for a classmate's help would be no problem. I was wrong.

When I asked him to explain the homework to me, he shrugged and said, "It's not like it's hard." And that tiny phrase made me want to give up completely. I know that he wasn't trying to make me feel bad, but he inadvertently made me feel completely stupid.

What's worse, is that his making me feel that way prevented me from asking for help on future assignments, because I didn't want other students, or the professor, to think that I was as stupid as I felt. In a class that was largely foreign to me, I felt completely alone.

I overhear students doing this same thing across campus all the time, and I think it's because many of us have no idea what damage this can do to our fellow students, because I don't think any of us ever really mean to put each other down. College is hard, and in order to survive, we need to empower our friends and classmates. And doing so actually really simple.

I think the solution to the problem starts with how we look at ourselves. The fact of the matter is that if you're in college, you're not stupid.

You're not. You got this far.

And honestly, there aren't a whole lot of things out there in life that are more demanding than college. You can handle this.

After reminding ourselves (every single day if we have to) that we are not stupid, we need to project that idea out on everyone around us. Don't let your friends call themselves stupid. It doesn't matter if they're failing calculus, they aren't stupid. If you or your friends are struggling with staying on top of things, it's okay to ask for help.

Needing a tutor or a counselor doesn't make you stupid, it means you're smart enough to know when you need help.

If you're good at something, and the person next to you is really struggling with that thing, don't patronize them by saying how easy it is, because it might only come easily to you.

And that's OK, but it's important to remember how what you say can make other people feel, even if putting someone down was never your intention. You don't have to offer to help anyone if you don't want to, but you should always encourage your classmates to ask for help, and especially not to give up.

When so many of us are struggling to keep it together in college, we all need to be aware of the impact we make on everyone around us.

Cover Image Credit: thinkprogress.org

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Academics and Creativity Conflicts

Academics is definitely something important for students, but it seems that creativity is pushed aside too often.

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As students, we are heavily focused on academics. Some of us may also be heavily focused on athletics. Anything that helps or is integrated into our academic careers has a way of controlling how we live our daily life. We go to class, we study and do homework, we attend activities/work, and then we most likely have little time to relax.

One thing that seems to lack in the academic world is creativity. Many students may say "Well, I'm not creative." Why have students subjected themselves to being uncreative individuals? How does someone define "creativity" as the verbatim definition across the world? Creativity can be used widely if we are aware of how it can be done.

  1. In the classroom, students can find creative ways to approach a debate, a different way of understanding a topic, changing the argument and allowing different perspectives and voices to be heard, and so much more.
  2. Students can find different ways of changing the issues our communities may face such as homelessness, segregated communities, etc.
  3. Organizations can be created to fill in the gaps our communities may have (including in a university).
  4. Students can remain to do creative activities such as crafts, writing, art, etc. This can be done within different organizations or in the comfort of the student's home.
  5. There are different platforms that encourage creativity like photoshop, video editing software, websites like Wattpad to create and share your own stories, and more.

We cannot let academics take over every moment of our lives. It can easily result in a point where we have no motivation to do anything at all because we are in a constant routine that can drain us. We are more than school, although it is still very important. If we shall succeed, we have to embrace the things we love to do and not forget about who we are.

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