This semester, I have caught 6 students who submitted the same homework assignment word for word. Four of them claimed that they were "working together" and all came up with the same response. The other two involved a female student who either intentionally or negligently allowed a male student access to her homework. He didn't bother to change the header with her name on it. When I confronted the female student, she was very non-chalant about the entire situation, which leads me to beleive that she intentionally allowed the male student to copy her work. Today, I found two assignments that were very close to being similar. I sent them to my department chair for clarification, even though my gut and years of experience with this says that it is cheating.
I am angry. I am hurt. And, I feel disrespected. Do these students think so little of me, the college and their future? Do they not care about the amount of time and effort that I put into this course for very little in compensation? Do they realize that from this point forward, I cannot trust or believe anything that they do? Do they not care that I am busting my ass to help them be successful? Do they even care about how this reflects on them as a person? What about the student who has struggled, but still makes tries to do the work honestly?
I used to tell myself that these are the exception to the rule. There are more good students than bad and I should focus on the good.
I am finding it harder and harder to do that.
I guess it's just a bigger part of what is wrong with the world. Regardless of what your beliefs are politically, religiously or whatever, we as a society do not value each other. We do dishonest things because others get away with it. We call each other hateful names because we don't believe the same things, yet we claim to be righteous and virtuous. We glorify bad behavior, and find good behavior suspect or acting as if we are superior to those who have not attained such good fortune.
So, my question is: What will it take to make things different?
If I knew the answer, I'd probably have a Nobel Prize.