The finals blues
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At the end of every semester students are plagued with the Final’s Blues. Last minute essays are written, study guides are hastily finished, and students get on their knees and beg their teachers to give them that extra point five percent to ensure they get all A’s.
“Students who honestly care about their grade, and let that overwhelm any other consideration, and those sort of students think that by cheating they can get that little extra edge to bolster their grade. It’s expedient; for students cheating probably seems like the quickest means to an end.” history teacher Mr.Isbell said.
Students are forced into a corner of moral ambiguity during the times of finals, feeling the need to cheat to ensure the best grade. Too often do students assume that cheating is the only way they can get a good grade, and too often do students suffer the consequences as a result. Cheating at CHS is punishable with being dropped from the class a student cheated in, and finishing the semester with an F, the bane of any hardworking student’s existence.
“Students cheat because they don’t know the material well enough, and they haven’t been adequately taught,” Junior Brooklynn Scott said, “They cheat because they don’t want to fail.”
The cause for why students cheat is something often debated between students and teachers. Many students believe teachers need to assign less work and realize all the activities many students take part in, and understand the pressure that is laid upon students.
“I think there is too much pressure on students to succeed, too much pressure on them to get into a good college, and I think sometimes when there’s to much pressure on students choose the wrong way going about getting the best grade.” CHS math teacher Ms. Purnell said.
Cheating is a choice that plagues students regardless of academic success. Students who choose to cheat are forced to make a choice that puts their academic success in jeopardy, and often they are blamed wholly for the cheating. Many believe that students aren’t the only ones to blame; the workload assigned to students is just as ready a cause as the students own decisions are.
“I think teachers have to be more courteous and considerate as to what our assignments are and how we assign work. I think teachers can get more done from a student, by giving small assignments but ensuring those assignments are meaningful,” Ms. Purnell said,” I would rather give students quality versus quantity.”
The popular belief is still that students are wholly to blame for cheating. Since Kindergarten students have had a rock-solid and pure moral compass engrained into our minds, and cheating lies well on the side of what is wrong on that compass. Students know they are doing something wrong when they are cheating, and by cheating students are missing integral pieces of their highschool education.
“Teachers need to be more articulate in the purpose of their assignments. Really, students deserve to know why they are doing what they are doing. What is the point of the assignment they are doing? A teacher ought to be able to explain that, and therefore the value of an assignment or a test should be understood,” Isbell said, ” It’s also basic ethics. Doing the right thing, whether or not anybody is watching is an important character aspect of students that perhaps needs to be retaught.”
Finals are looming over all students, regardless of academic performance. Students will begin to think that they are being cooped in by finals, and that they are destined to fail if they do not cheat. Once students and teachers collectively realize that this is more than just a student or teacher issue, but a systemic one, then the problem of cheating will be solved. Until then, students need to spend less time on their phone, and more time studying. Time management is a student’s best friend during finals, but if used wrongly, can kill any good grade.
“I think the hardest thing for students is time management. You have to realize students are busy. They work, they go to school, they are in athletics, and then they take three or four AP classes and they are just juggling a lot of things, and time management is key.” Ms. Purnell said.