Yesterday afternoon I taught two classes: English for children and teens. The class was a combination between mine and my fellow teacher’s, Mr. Agus’s, which consisted of four grade students. For my own class I planned and promised to give them a unit test. As my friend’s class had had their test last week, I assigned them to make something.
When I prepared them, one of Mr. Agus’s students asked whether she could give some answer to my students. I questioned them if it was okay and let them decide whether it was a good deed or not. They shook their head and said they could not do that. My students sat side by side so closely that there was not enough room to separate one to another when another Mr Agus’s student protested me to give them enough room so that no body would not cheat. I told him that I would let the seating arrangement as it was. Then I said to everyone there to be honest to themselves and to not cheating. I added that they should feel confident because we had studied the unit together. What’s the use of an excellent score if we got it through cheating. They seemed to like the idea.
When the test went I noticed that none of Mr. Agus’s students try to say anything and they were so occupied to what they were doing. Meanwhile, I could see that my students were also serious. Almost all of them did not look to their right or left. Only one did I notice seeing on the corner of his eyes his friend’s sheet. I called his name. I realized I shouldn’t have called. I immediately told them again the importance of fairness to oneself. I emphasized that their final score of the unit test was not the most important thing. It was their effort to do their best and if they had tried to the fullest but the result was not satisfying they could try harder next time.
I could see more and more confident eyes than before. When I emphasizes again not only to my students that their effort that mattered, they were all more focused on their sheet and the one whose name I called was not tempted again to look to his right. To my surprise my friend’s class did the assignment enthusiastically without making much noise which was disturbing. They respected other students who were having a test and did the assignment well.
I hope that the spirit of being fair would continue.