At Least She Remembered to Change the Name

I generally score classwork assignments pretty fairly. If I ever assign questions, I’ll have each important component worth a maximum of three points. Each of those points is awarded in case of effort, correctness and completeness.

Though the system is wholly fallible, only one student so far has bothered to hound me for points.

It was just the other day, and my master teacher came up to me with a curious look on his face. He told me that two ladies in the back corner — any further from the teacher’s desk and they’d have to jump out the second-story window — had an issue with their grades.

Why did she get a better score than I did?

I looked at their papers. Sure enough, while they were identical down to the word, one assignment had earned two more points than the other. It didn’t faze me because both recieved pretty low scores to begin with. It wasn’t aesthetics, either — the handwriting on the better scorer was, if anything, worse.

I was unsympathetic — these papers are identical down to the word, remember — but I played it off like I really meant to help them out the way they wanted.

“I’ll take a look at this.”

Once I had made my 12-mile trek back to the desk, I immediately adjusted the higher grade to match the lower grade on the computer, making the appropriate change on the paper itself.

They each looked disgruntled once I showed them the new scores. The higher scorer found it in herself to laugh at the situation.

I told you he’d do something like that.

I knew there was a reason she got a higher score. 

Moral of the story? Students’ copying helps them little. I should make a note of telling them that.


  1. Howabominable (aka Lindsey ^_^)

    When I was in highschool chemistry, the teacher had a method where she would stamp all of our work/notes on the day they were due. We would then turn them in at the end of a certain period of time in a sort of “notebook” so she could grade them all at once, giving us credit if our work was stamped. One time the stamp when missing! Obviously someone had stolen it. She didn’t say anything about it, and a few days later the stamp was miraculously returned. She didn’t know who took it, so it looked like the culprit would get away with it, right?

    Yeah, no. The girl who stole the stamp had stamped about 30 blank pages, did her homework on about 10 with them… and then turned in the rest of the blank stamped pages with the homework! Genius.

  2. As a new teacher, it always surprises me how obvious all those antics are.

  3. dkzody

    At least you gave them points. They should be thankful you didn’t make both papers a zero.

  4. Phil V

    This is priceless! By the way, your blog is great (long time reader, first time commenter).

    Phil (FS band alum-trombone)

  5. dkzody: What can I say? I was in a good mood.

    Phil: ‘preciate it, and glad I could be of service.

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