By Omar Bihmidine
By Omar Bihmidine
Morocco World News
Sidi Ifni, Morocco, February 13, 2012
We all know that cheating is an action typical only of students; to say that some teachers cheat too is contrary to popular belief. My conclusion that teachers cheat dates back to my university days when some of my ex-classmates, now teachers, frequently took recourse in cheating. Though they were students at the time, I would think as teachers they also cheat. It is because they are ready at any time to cheat again in their teaching career if offered the opportunity. What makes me even more astonished is to hear that these teachers closely investigate the students they teach. No one can deny that it is hypocritical of them to do so.
I still vividly remember the manner in which my ex-classmates cheated. Some used to ask their fellow students they sat next to; some begged me for responses to the questions; some brought the essays they wrote at their leisure at home to class; and some cheat by bringing with them the prompts they need to get an essay started, and strangely, the latter think that this is not cheating. It is a pity that some of these people are now teachers. And sooner or later they are going to investigate their students as if they had no experience with cheating. They are real schizophrenics.
Actually, I am not broaching cheating for its own sake. I am rather hinting at the implications of these teachers’ past cheating experiences on their academic life and teaching career. When I was a teacher trainee, some of my fellow trainees cheated in order to graduate. And when I became a teacher, I found that some teachers feel compelled to cheat at exams which entitle them to be promoted.
Strangely enough, every time I discuss this matter with one of the teachers concerned, he or she would say that their case is different from that of their students. “Our students still have to prepare for their future; they need to be tested and investigated again and again, while for us, we have attained our goal,” one of them said.
I remain flabbergasted by this teacher’s viewpoint. I believe he forgets his goal is about teaching, but also to serve as a model and to prepare himself for contributing to his students’ lives and to the community at large. How can an ex-cheater become an active contributor and how can an ex-cheater teach something he himself did not learn, but rather used a means to an end? Certainly, they can’t. Recently, one teacher told me that he had to cheat at pedagogy, for he was not taught or trained in that field. If this was a real excuse, he should also allow the students who were absent from his class to cheat.
No matter what sorts of excuses and pretexts given as defense, I will always attribute this inveterate addiction to cheating to experiences at university. I swear to God that had I been in their shoes, I would have allowed my students to cheat too, simply because if I do not, it would be hypocritical of me. Most importantly, these teachers do not often master their subject matter as it should be. If my memory serves me right, one of my fellow trainees once told me that she seldom cheated as a university student, except at grammar.
At first, I pretended not to pay attention to her previous cheating at grammar. After a certain period of time in teacher training, she showed me an essay that she wrote and which I read from start to finish. I really enjoyed her ideas and the arguments expressed in the essay, but I did not feel any cohesion as far as the sentences are concerned. In that instant, I realized that she was not adept at grammar because she had already cheated at it many times before. Also, towards the end of the first semester, we took a grammar quiz, and surprisingly she did not do as well as she did at other language skills. I did not find it strange when I noticed her cheating another time.
Sometimes, I wonder how these former cheaters are going to treat their students: whether they turn their backs on their past experiences and turn over a new leaf, or if they let students too indulge in cheating. When I was a student, I used to stand in awe of all teachers, but I didn’t know that amongst them were those who had already gone through different cheating experiences. Since I became a teacher, I have fortunately come to know the ins and outs of this profession.
Editing by Jasmine Davey
Omar Bihmidine is high school teacher of English. He obtained his Associate Degree at Choaib Eddoukali University in 2008. His writings take the form of short stories, poems and articles, many of which have been published in Sous Pens magazine, in the ALC magazine in Agadir, and in the late Casablanca analyst newspaper .
The views expressed in this article are the authors’ own and do not necessarily reflect Morocco World News’ editorial policy.
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