The Calculation

OH SWEET GOD. I’ve just spent the last 2-3 hours marking maths papers. In the lesson they had seemed very enthusiastic and had even stayed over time to do as much of the book as possible! The first boy’s was impeccable – I was completely taken aback. This seemed slightly odd following the English and Social Sciences lessons preceding it in which most of the answers given were not only widely incorrect but also made little sense at all…and there were also no workings but I gave him the benefit of the doubt. He’d missed out a couple of questions and got the odd one slightly wrong so I just thought he must have done workings on scrap paper. I was getting increasingly frustrated as the questions which he’d completed within an hour were taking me quite some time: working out index notations, such as 15⁴, is not particularly easy if you haven’t done maths in three years. Anyway, I was astounded at the apparent ease at which this boy had raced through the answers. I only twigged that something was going on when the next boy had written ‘answers may vary’ at several points. How hilarious. All of the children, it transpires, had copied answers from the back of the book. I’m not sure why I didn’t think of it sooner – It didn’t really occur to me that their text books might have answers in the back! I had struggled through five pages of the bloody things without even a calculator. What a waste of time.