Rare..."not-like-me" post


It is the absolute WORST thing one of my students can do. I've been home all day (and yesterday since snow closed school) editing rough drafts of research papers. It's not an easy task...much like it is not an easy task for my students to pull resources, materials, time, energy together to write their research papers. I know how much they put into them, so I don't consider it a chore to edit them.....IF they do it the right way.

The wrong way? Plagiarize.

You don't plagiarize in my class and get away with it. I absolutely abhore and detest plagiarism. Granted, I realize it's going to happen. I don't expect their papers to be completely free of it. I'm not a tyrant or anything, but I do have high expectations - especially when I provide 2 weeks worth of class time to do the research, note cards, bibliography, provide the proper "how-to" instruction, and then give them time to actually type the paper. I consider that VERY kind of me. My teachers never gave us that oppotunity, nor do many of the teachers in the county allow this kind of time for their students. However, since I teach in a rural community, and I realize many of my students don't have the needed resources outside of school, I choose to give them the time they need.

I've watched my classes over the past couple of weeks. Many of my students took advantage of the time they were given, and they worked hard to get their work done....the right way. As usual, I also had a few who chose not to use their time wisely. And, as I told them at the beginning of the semester, once you get behind you will stay behind. (I also told them I am always right....they're beginning to learn that that statement is more true than they first imagined.) These few chose to listen to music instead of doing their work. They chose to disrupt class, show no effort, and now they are paying for their lack of initiative. Typically, which is the reason for my rant, when they finally realize their poor time management, they turn to plagiarism, which results in the boiling of Mrs. Jones's blood.

Okay. I'm done. I rarely get like this. I just detest apathy and lack of initiative when I have given ample time and opportunity for the work to be done the right way. It is not fair to the rest of my students who decided to do things the right way for the slackers to get by with it. So, now I have to decide on an action plan. The policy is that plagiarism results in a zero....period. That's the first plan of action - instill fear of failing. In the past, at this point in the semester, when a student plagiarizes and I catch them (never a question of "if" - always a matter of "when"), this is when we find out if they want to put forth enough effort to continue moving forward....or just give up. I'm all for pushing them forward, but I can't give them the will power. Which is why they just need to listen to me to begin with and just do what I tell them to do when I tell them to do it. That sounds very prideful of me, but I feel like I'm good at my job, and I'm good at preparing them for this part of their senior year. I can't save them all, though.....as much as I wish I could.

Okay, I'm really done now. Today's lesson: If you plagiarize in my class, you will be caught, and when your teacher happens to be pregnant....do whatever it takes to keep her fat and happy.

My posts will return to their normal content from this point forward.



  1. I liked your rant.
    Maybe you could do a regular ranting blog. You come across as convicted and I like that. Hopefully there are other issues you feel passionately about that can be the topics for your "regular rant" blogging.
    PS I'd love for my junior to have a teacher as fair and wise as you :) Those kids are blessed to have you in their lives.

  2. :-) That made me laugh. Glad you're such a good teacher.

  3. I don't know why, but your post really made me laugh!

  4. I totally busted some students last semester for this. It BURNED ME UP! You'll have to remind me to tell you the ridiculous story one student told me to cover his tracks.

    I feel your pain--but I'm laughing, too!

  5. Well said...I was always terrible at research papers, but even I had enough sense not to plagiarize... And I hope your students read your blog and are scared for their life(or atleast their grade haha)but it's my guess that the ones who regularly read your blog aren't the ones who slacked in the first place. I hope you will follow-up with the outcome of this situation.

  6. I love the rant! Especially the part about keeping the pregnant teacher fat and happy. Your ranting make me laugh! I'm pregnant and my co-workers know not to cross me :-) Good luck with the class.....and the pregnancy!

  7. I've been out of school for a while, but plagiarism always resulted in failing the class. I'm amazed they get off so easy!

  8. WOW where do I begin. I clicked a few blogs and BAM I ended up on your blog. I had no idea what it was about so I continued to read. Cute baby , nice looking mom & dad. Oh look theres a button on the side that said to read about the babies story. So I click it. I start reading oh cute lil storry written by the baby. Oh WOW our babies are the exact same age. HOw cool. I kept reading and then boom the tears came I had no idea what I was reading would be the stroy to to remember this baby. I sit here in tears. I put myself immedietly into yours. My heart ache. I look over to see my baby boy sitting in the highchair eating breakfast and fussying at me. It make me even sadder. I was so worried about SIDS when my son was little and you think it cant happen, it wont happen. I wasn't sure if I should comment on your blog because my baby is the same age as your son but I decided too anyways. What do you say to someone who lost a son the same age as yours? Im not sure but I decided to invite that mom to read about my son if and when shes ready. I have decided to become a follower of your blog if thats OK if its to painfull I fully understand and totally let me know and will silently read on.

  9. My worst case of plagiarism? One of the students copied a section out of a book that I had written. It was quite surprising to see my own words in front of me. Now, that was one really dumb plagiarist.