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My teaching experiences have been quite varied. I began my career as a high school business education teacher in a small rural Midwestern school. Because there were only two teachers in the department, I taught a wide variety of courses. The small setting enabled me to get to know several of the students and faculty quite well and working with students at this age level helped me develop skills in organization and motivation. I found that it was important to have enough material for the entire class period because many students at this age do not seem to know what to do with free time.

I was taught a very valuable lesson during my tenure at this school, although I didn’t realize it at the time. At the end of the accounting course I was teaching, students were required to complete a practice set. A practice set is a simulated exercise where students become bookkeepers for a hypothetical company. They have the opportunity to work through the entire accounting cycle—from opening the accounts as the business begins its daily operations to closing them out at the end of the business’ fiscal period. Students are required to record daily transactions, write checks, and prepare financial reports. It is a mammoth project and takes a lot of time both in class and out of class.

Students were told that it would count for a large percentage of their semester grade and that if there were cheating, all involved would automatically fail the course. Being naïve and from a middle-class background, I felt sure that such a threat would prevent any cheating.

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