Let's discuss the ways students take advantage of, or “game" teachers and substitute teachers, and what we should do about it.
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Hey, Greg Collins substitute teachers lounge I'll tell you what, did you ever game or take advantage of teachers when you were in school? Well,that part of it hasn't changed.So what do we do when students take advantage of us as teachers or substitute teachers? Or do we do anything All right, guys, I just got back from two weeks in the Caribbean,we had a great time, I got to have a monkey stand on my head and Honduras, as well, a holding a sloth in my arm. So that was a lot of fun. Did a Royal Caribbean cruise ship, if you can get Yeah, I'm retired now.So it's a little bit easier to do was when we were younger. So today's episode was actually some things happen that made me think about this. So I'm going to use some examples from that,as well as gonna use probably three examples heading into the discussion of that topic. And I would invite you to stick around all the way to the end, because Buzzsprout published our, I guess, they sent an email to our their customers, that's my podcast publisher. And it told me what the top five most downloaded episodes were for2022. So we'll talk about that at the end of the episode. It's funny, I'm one of those that I'm not, I don't hack into anything,I don't do anything that's illegal. But given systems that companies especially travel companies put in place our game the system, I said, alright, you know if it since you designed it this way, that I'm going to take full advantage of the way you designed it, I'm going to use that to my advantage. Let me give you a couple of examples. I guess it's been almost five years now planning a trip for the extended family to Disney World. And at that time, they still had free Fastpasses although you were limited to so many per day, they had the Disney dining plan COVID changed all that some of its come back in a pay form. But anyway, I was actually able to, I'll go ahead and say it this way game, their system didn't hack into it. I just used it the way they designed it to my advantage, I was able to have our party of nine, we had Fastpasses for every ride we did all day long for a week. Or I should say how a week long, all day long every day for a week. I also figured out a way in the Disney dining plan to pay significantly lower rates just because of something I noticed about the way their system was in place. So in effect, I gained their system.This past trip, I thought I would be a real ingenious I love to pay for convenience. So I won't tell you what rental car company it was. But I decided our we we cruised out of Miami and I decided the day we had a rental car, we would actually go to this rental car place close to the cruise terminal. And then when we brought it back later, I would bring it back to the airport. So I was bringing it back at a different location and that if you go through places like Expedia, the price significantly goes up. But I looked at the prices on Expedia first, and then I went to the individual rental car companies found one within two miles of the terminal. I said, Well,that's perfect. Well, it was perfect. On paper, everything went fine. Except that when I got to the rental place before the cruise, there was lines,probably 200 people waiting on the shuttle to get to the cruise line. So we took an Uber instead. But coming back is when I game the system the plans were to go out he had my reservation to go to the same location two miles from the cruise port, pick up our car, drive it we were going to spend a couple of days on the beach before we flew back out and then return it to the airport. Well, I got there. Same type of lines for the shuttle.But of course, we weren't using the shuttle anyway, I went inside waited in line. And when I got up, she found my name and said, All right, we'll let you know when your car's ready. And I said Well, how long would that be? And she said, at least an hour. And I said so you actually have to wait for others to bring cars back before you can give it to me and she said yes. So here we are setting on the street on what we just knew if she said at least an hour, it was going to be significantly more than an hour. Well the systems for that rental car company would not allow you to cancel a reservation.Without a $50 fee. Now, we just spent a lot of money on a cruise. So $50 wasn't that much,but I just refuse to let their system take advantage of us that way. So I figured out, I gamed their system, I figured out within their system, if I would just go in and make a change to my reservation, then it would it to my advantage, it wouldn't charge me that fee, it would just call it a revised reservation. So what I did, I went in and change the location of the pickup, to also be the airport. So now I've got my same rental car reserved, but I'm going to take an Uber now to the airport with was about 30 miles away, but actually saved enough money to pay for the Uber. So they took us to the airport,then I could take the car easier to get there and return it back without waiting too much. But when we did get to the airport,massive line, massive line, and only two attendants working, and one of them didn't act like they care too much to be there. But alright, so I started to say how I can't just sneak around people. That's wrong, that's unethical. What am I going to do, I looked up, and there was a code you could scan to join this rental companies Preferred Club,you're going to figure it out who I'm talking about,eventually, if you're in the Preferred Club, you get to walk around all the lines to a different desk, you don't get to walk around everybody, you actually go to a whole other desk and make your reservation there. So I scanned it, and it said, linked dead. So I just typed in this room a company's name and preferred, signed up that way, got my code hadn't moved anywhere in 20 minutes while I was doing this, went over to the other desk, there was no line had to turn on a little charm, because technically, you're only supposed to get it for your rental cars that you reserved after you became a member. But I just said, you know, I made some changes. So my last change was after my membership. And she said, you know, she she was very friendly. She understood. And she let me go ahead and get my car. So I gained their system.They programmed it that way. But I game the system so that I could move around everybody in the rental car. So that's just a few things that I mentioned about how I've gamed the system.And I say that because how can I do things like that and not expect students to game the system? Let me give you a student specific example. I was in college, many, obviously,many years ago, it was a health class. And probably half the class needed 100% On the final to pass the class. And it was a student teachers test. Okay, the other teacher wasn't even in there. So, you know, a lot of the students were kind of panicky, well, I think the teacher did this on purpose. But it turns out that one of the students went up to ask her a question about the test. And she had the key to the test, setting out on her desk in plain view.Well, he got the answer. He also got 100, because he asked enough questions that he could look ahead and see what answers he needed to put down.Obviously, he kind of whispered to the others. And before you knew it, there was a lot of about 20 people. The teacher didn't say a thing. She didn't move the key. She helped them with their questions. I think she wanted a good review too. So she wanted more students to pass her class. I think she laid it out on her desk on purpose. But that is a another way that as a student.They gamed the system to get the grade they needed to get Now let's come to substitute teaching and teaching. This may actually apply as much to teachers as anything. How do students game the system today?Now, I will tell you this. There are if you go into Google Forms and you design test, which I think is absolutely the way to go. Make sure on each test that you check the defaults because so I can't remember exactly if it defaults to this or this is one of the choices. Sometimes it will let them take test multiple times. And if they don't do a good job the first time. I don't think it will let them see the correct answers and then retake it but either way they could take it multiple times to help hopefully help their grade. I might even be wrong longer, but maybe they do see the answers, obviously, that would help their grade. Now, I will say this. I've also run into teachers that don't mind kids taking tests multiple times, because they feel they're not there to zap the kids and try to give them a bad grade.They're there to help them learn. So if they take a test over and over again, until they get better at well, they have learned to the whole process. So that's, there's that whole argument to try to get through.But moral of the story there is when you're using electronic sources, make sure that you're aware of all the security built in and make sure that you may be given them a chance to take the test multiple times. And if that's not what you done, you need to close those holes.The other main way that students will take advantage of you is that they look for your weaknesses, not in a malicious way. But they know if you don't have any problem with this,they're going to do that all the time. If you have a problem with this, they might do it on occasion just to see your reaction. So you got to be prepared that the gist of the episode today is I want you to be prepared for what you should do if students take advantage of you game or game systems that you have put in place. And I settled that in the beginning because we've gamed the systems to maybe the best example is when a student wants to retake a test. And maybe you don't want them to you don't want ways to get their grades up, because they should have known it the first time. I'm not like that,I'll try to give them other ways to improve their grades. If I do, I will offer that to all the students in the area. If if I offer it even to 100% students,maybe I give them something that's worth 10 points. And I'll just tell the 100% students, if you do this assignment,maybe you'll get a modified test or you already have a head start of 10 points on the next test those types of things. But be thinking about what you're going to do when students game the systems that you put in place, I wouldn't recommend being mad, I would recommend learning from it, because we did it too. And I would just say,try your best to put the things in place that can't easily be gamed and can easily be taken advantage of. And you know, I laugh about it. Sometimes I you know, sometimes I'll have students come up and tell me about other students, hey, this student is doing this over here.And I'm thinking, Man, I didn't even think about that. Sometimes I even give them credit, maybe not verbally, but in my head,I'll have to say, you know, that was pretty clever of you to figure that out. But think about the way what you're going to do,I wouldn't recommend reacting overly negative when they game the systems you put in place,improve the systems. And then you know, maybe you can even use them. I wouldn't bother me at all to tell the student, I see what you did here. And I think that was actually clever to figure that out. I'm going to help you design something that keeps other students from doing that in the future. And then maybe that's what you do from there. Alright, let's talk about the best episodes of last year.Although that's probably not the correct way to say it the most downloads of last year. I don't know. Some people might not think they're the best. I will tell you this. We have had a sharp increase in Episode downloads the past six weeks or so we're gaining a lot of new members. Sometimes they go back and listen to the older episodes too. So we gained a lot of that but you're not going to see episodes have the last six weeks. In this top five list because they haven't had a long enough run. These are episodes that take into account the entire 52 weeks of 2022 some of the more recent episodes have had the most downloads ever in its first seven days. That's what I like to compare because it it helps me compare how things would give you for instance, one of the least listened to as you might expect one of the least listened to episodes in its first week was the very first episode, right?Because nobody knew about it.Now the very first episode is the most downloaded episode in the history of the podcast,which you might not be shocked when people you know when people find it, they go back to the first episode to listen to it.But anyway, so with all that in mind, these are the episodes that were download at the most in the first year and the first year and 2022 I'm not going to give you the number because not all platforms even give you a number. I'm just going to give you the title let you go look for it. But these, it doesn't shock me at all that these were the most downloaded episodes.Alright, I will start by mentioning that it tells me that we are in the top 25% of all podcasts that are published so that's kind of cool. It gives me the most popular cities other year it's funny My hometown is the most popular. I guess that stands to reason because I know more people in this this town,Decatur, Alabama sound Paulo Sao Paulo is up there Davis,California, Minneapolis,Minnesota. It's been downloaded in 39 countries. And here are the top episodes number five.Are you really ready to be a substitute teacher? Number four,the substitute teacher detective how to find out stuff. Number three, I quit substitute teaching want to know why. That was one of the earlier ones in the year. Number two, substitute teacher strategy tough versus chill. And then the number one downloaded episode for the year2022 is dumb, nothing substitute teachers should and shouldn't do. So that's your list. I will also tell you in the last 26weeks, the ones that have had the most episodes in the first seven days or I should say the most downloads. In the first seven days are cool new tool,it's time to pass the word that's when we talked about playing password in class. One of the others is substitute teaching for the librarian or not. That was actually a very popular episode. Students speak creating the perfect substitute teacher. And then one of the more recent ones is the joy of special education and the substitute teacher. So thank you so much for making those episodes popular. I hope everybody has a great 2023 As we get back to substitute teaching,I think I've got the vacation bug out of my system for a while now. Got a few days scheduled already this upcoming week. So enjoy your substitute teaching out there and remember, if one of the students games, your systems, let them help you make them better.