Honesty and Respect - The Doon Girls' School

Some section of school policy suggests implementing honesty and responsibility on the students. The students may forget about it and start to do things that lead to academic dishonesty or simply lying. They may begin to cheat by copying each other's homework, using their notes on a test without teachers' permission or having someone else write the paper. The students may bribe someone to do their work or let them copy their homework. They may start to submit the same paper to two different classes. They can also tend to plagiarise and present their work without changing any lines. Students may commit these dishonest things under peer pressure or anxiety about getting good grades. One of the most common reasons for academic dishonesty is students' ability to manage the pressures of their social and educational lives. Some students genuinely may not know what constitutes cheating or plagiarism and may not ask the course instructor for clarification. 

I have experienced this kind of situation. Once in my class, there were two kids. Both of them were very hardworking; however, one was a bright child, and the other was very weak. They both were close friends and used to sit together. At the beginning of the class, they were not together, and their result differed. Since the day they sat together, their results were equal. Every test I took had the same mistakes, scoring the same marks. I did not say anything and kept on noticing the two girls. Their half yearlies were near; they both were appointed at different places at the opposite corners of the class. When the result came, I got a little worried because the weak girl had scored significantly less, and the bright one had scored well. I was just waiting to make them realise their mistake and learn from them. 

According to the incident, the intelligent girl's first dishonest behaviour was shown. The girl should have warned the weaker girl about the consequences she might face shortly. She should have told her that you are not doing the right thing by copying from me because it will affect her future. You will be deprived of the proper knowledge. I asked her why did she do this. She told me that she was insecure about her friendship with the girl as she did not have many friends.

The weaker girl showed dishonesty because she was afraid of getting bad marks on her tests as her parents were stringent in this matter. The girl was also insecure about not being able to set a good example to her younger siblings as she was the eldest in her family. 

One example of academic dishonesty is disrespecting the teachers and their fellow classmates.

I had been teaching the junior school and now was deployed to teach the seniors after 2 years. Everyone knows how many handful teenagers can be. Being promoted from middle school to senior school, the children were disrespectful towards me and used to disturb the class and not allow me to teach peacefully. But, slowly and gradually, most of the children accepted me and started giving me respect. Still, one of the girls asked silly questions and tried to disturb the class. One day she came to ask about some of her quarries which I simply explained to her, and she was pretty satisfied with my way of teaching, which changed her attitude towards me. She became quiet and did not cause any trouble in the class anymore. 

Sometimes children do not accept a junior teacher and show respect to teachers who teach them. So we should deal with patience and give them time to adjust to the situation. Slowly and gradually, good relations are developed between teachers and the students.

Jyoti Tadiyal & L K Bhatt

Good Schools of India Journal @ www.GSI.IN

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