I, though, was particularly impressed with a nuanced piece in The Atlantic titled Why Would a Teacher Cheat? Without excusing the Atlanta teachers, writer Alia Wong examines the broader question of teacher “leniency” in grading. Here’s an excerpt:
I’ve don’t believe I’ve ever done anything that would be labeled “cheating” by anybody. However, all of us have a great deal of discretion in student assessment.
The guiding principle for me is always, “What do I think will move this student forward?” That doesn’t mean moving him/her into situations where I don’t think they will be adequately prepared. However, might I have on occasion passed students who some others might have felt had not”earned” a passing grade because I didn’t feel failing them would be in their best interest? Perhaps (see The Best Resources For Learning About Grade Retention, Social Promotion & Alternatives To Both).
We teachers can hold enormous power to affect the trajectory of our students’ lives. That amount of power requires some discretion in how we use it.
Video clips of sneaky critters are great ones to show to English Language Learners to get them to describe — verbally and in writing — what they see. I also use them to in my IB Theory of Knowledge class for a discussion about if animals have ethics.