Ackh! It's a few weeks until the students have to start thinking about and studying for (cough cough) finals. For the past couple of class periods in precalculus I haven't really gone over new material since they were getting ready for a test on graphing all the trigonometric functions. Instead of not assigning homework, I decided to assign OLD topics and grade on accuracy instead of just completion like I normally do.
The first assignment was on function notation, and the current one is on function composition. I gave them the stern teacher face of "don't show up and say you don't know how to do it. Look at your old notes and look at the book examples and look at the web, but LOOK and recall and do something for yourself." Gee. My face is expressive.
Anyway. I was giving the graphing test on Friday, and the homework was due, but I didn't collect it until after the test. Some students finished early and were doing various things. Two friends started to look suspicious. I saw one pass back a paper to the other. Then I saw the other surreptitiously copying her paper. Crap. I walked over and quietly said, "do not do that! That is a zero for both of you. Do your own work.". I was so mad. First for her doing it, and equally for thinking that I'm so oblivious, that I can't notice what's going on.
I debated talking to both after class (I didn't). I had the whole speech prepared in my head about how once you lose someone's trust, it's very hard to gain it back. But I settled for the unhappy glances their way and the ignoring of them and a total change of my demeanor towards them after the test was over, and we were going over other concepts. I'd had a hard enough week, and I didn't want to deal with more stress.