Thursday, December 1, 2011

Teachable Moments

You can hound, whine, beg, and plead. You can tell them til you're blue in the face, model how to do it, and threaten serious consequences, but sometimes, they just have to learn for themselves; plagiarism is wrong (and, in this case, on so many levels)...

Eleven-year-old "Andy" figured copying and pasting his Ancient Mesopotamia stuff would be a nice way to present "his" research.  Had he actually read it, he might have had second thoughts, but conscientiousness is in the dictionary between caring and credibility, and he just doesn't roll like that.  Besides, it didn't really matter, right?

No harm, no foul, right? (unless you're a meddling neighbor, that is).  Actually, the first bit went quite well;. Andy was feeling cool as a cucumber. That lasted until his second slide...

And roll he did...right into the principal's office.

Just kidding about the principal part; it was a complete accident, and poor Andy was mortified.. He (and the few students who could read as fast as the teacher) realized right away that he had made a huge tactical error.  It was truly an innocent mistake (on one level), an innocent mistake, and it provided quite an excellent example of what happens when you take too many shortcuts in life.

Sadly, it'll be a while before this incident is ancient history in Andy's world; I'm sure he learned his lesson. I'm pretty sure he'll  read the stuff before he plagiarizes next time.

Lord only knows what his punishment would have been in ancient Mesopotamia.

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