I had an UGLY confrontation with a parent this week, and it has really made me think about the type of parent I want to be when Cameron is in school. Here is the story.
I teach Introduction to Business, mainly to freshman and sophomores. It is a semester class, and for a majority of the semester, I teach them how to write a business plan, and they write a business plan for a business that they make up. They work on this project EVERY DAY in class from the end of October until the end of December. I had out countless amounts of worksheets to help them, I give them an EXACT outline that I want them to follow, etc. Well, I go to grade this one project in particular last Friday, and it is CRAZY! The kids have obviously copied it. It was a really good business plan and ended up being about 25 pages (Read: Other plans in class were only about 10 pages long). It covered topics that I learned about my senior year of college! Another teacher and I spent about an hour typing random sentences into Google to see where it was copied from with no luck. So what I decided to do was confront these kids and see if I could figure out where it came from. There were three kids in the group, one girl, two boys. So in class on Monday, I take them out in the hall and question them. I ask them if they can tell me about what they learned, including some of the much higher level thinking from their paper. For example, I said, “You three wrote about SWOT Analysis, can you tell me what SWOT stands for? NO (Strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats) You wrote about the product life cycle, can you tell me the three stages? NO.” So I say to them that I know someone else wrote the paper for them, and they can either own up to it, and I will let them redo it on their own, not in a group, and I won’t refer them to the deans. They agree with that and the girl tells me that her aunt came over to help them, but she didn’t have enough time, so she just printed out her master’s paper and they changed the name to their business. I say alright, I won’t turn you in to the dean, you are just going to have to redo it and I will call your parents and tell them our deal. They all agree. During class, the girl asks to go to the bathroom. She apparently calls her mom at that time. I call Mom after school and knew it was going to be bad when Mom answered. Instead of saying hello, she says, “Yes?” I go on to explain what happened and what I am doing. Mom tells me this. That the aunt did come over to help them, that the student did MOST of the work, but Aunt helped her because they had NO IDEA what they were doing and I obviously didn’t tell them what to do (even though we spent two months on it in class). She also proceeds to tell me that I am picking on her daughter. So, I say that I wasn’t going to refer them, but if she would rather deal with the dean that is fine. She says, “That is fine.” and hangs up on me!
In conclusion, I will never ALLOW Cameron to cheat, and I will ALWAYS respect what the teacher determines to be the best for my child at school. Teachers DO NOT want to get your kids in trouble on purpose, they want to help.
That lady is crazy.