Quality Control or Possible Big Brother?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by catnfiddle, Mar 20, 2013.

  1. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Virtuoso

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    I am rescuing this from a closed thread. How would school atmosphere in general and your classroom atmosphere in particular be changed if there was monitoring happening? Would you feel stifled if there were security cameras in your room, or would you feel a little more covered if a student made a false or shaky complaint against you? How about possible monitoring of your classroom phone, if you have one?

    Because I teach remotely, my calls may be recorded and my life teaching sessions, which I voluntarily record, may be pulled for quality control (mostly so my observer doesn't have to show up to a live session). I'm so used to it now, I rarely ponder it beyond knowing it backs up my personal documentation.
     
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  3. Scribe

    Scribe Rookie

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    I've wondered this as well. It seems that having cameras in the classroom would cut down on a lot of issues and I'm curious as to why they aren't already installed as a rule. I know students are recorded on buses and in the hallways already in many schools, but why not the classroom?

    Thank you for asking a question that's been niggling me!
     
  4. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Interesting question, cat. I know that every time I am in the halls I am on camera; I only ever think about it if I do something foolish, like slip or drop my coffee :eek:. I don't think it would bother me too much to have a camera in the classrooms; I know that no one is going to sit and watch me all day long.

    I don't do or say anything in my classroom that I wouldn't want a colleague, administration or parents to see or hear.
     
  5. Poodle15

    Poodle15 Companion

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    I think at first it would make some people uncomfortable. I also think that the teachers need to feel supported by admin. If you feel you're being victimized or singled out, you may feel that your every mistake is there for everyone to see and analyze. However, I think going into a school with cameras would be easier than having them installed after being there for a while. Getting them installed may make teachers feel like they've been doing something wrong and now they must be watched.

    But I do like what MrsC said, don't do something you don't want others to see/hear and you'll be fine.

    (Note: "you" has been used as "you in general" not anyone specific.)
     
  6. Scribe

    Scribe Rookie

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    I think it completely depends on how the administration is using the cameras and explains their purposes. I can see cameras being used to support the teachers, especially in claims where it's the student vs. the teacher. What about behavioral issues that typically require extensive observation? Now you've got hours of tape to review.

    I'm usually not one to say, "If you've got nothing to hide then you have nothing to worry about," but in this case I think it's applicable. Having a camera in the classroom shouldn't change the way you act one iota.
     
  7. chasisaac

    chasisaac Comrade

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    I hate being recorded. I hate being filmed. I see where there are cases where this would be good thing.

    It should not change what and how you do what you do. But the reality of it, cameras do change what we do.
     
  8. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Aficionado

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    During teaching time, I couldn't care less if a camera was on.

    How about during lunch time, though? What if I wanted to make a personal phone call? Would I have to go out to my car if I didn't want the conversation recorded? Or what if I needed to "adjust" myself? Would I need to go to the bathroom so it wouldn't be caught on tape?
     
  9. bison

    bison Habitué

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    This was my first thought as well. I like the idea of having the protection of everything being recorded, but what about teachers needing to vent about unfair/unsupportive admin during lunch/after school? As YoungTeacherGuy said, what about a personal call when you're staying late to plan? You'd have to watch what you said all the time. I'm conflicted about the whole thing.
     
  10. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Virtuoso

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    That is an interesting point. My recordings are only when I am on the phone or in my online classroom. I exercise during my lunch break, and I'd REALLY hate for my webcam to suddenly turn on and record my workout.
     
  11. PinkCupcake

    PinkCupcake Cohort

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    Spot on!
     
  12. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    My school is using the Marshall model for teacher evaluation...it keeps you on your toes...anyone could stop by at any time...videotaping would have a similar effect yet seems like its more intrusive than unannounced drop bys.
     
  13. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Fanatic

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    I am 100% for cameras in the classroom. It wouldn't bother me, and I am so bothered by teachers on cell phones, updating their Facebook pages during silent reading, and texting when they should be teaching. I think cameras could help reduce some of this unprofessional behavior.
     
  14. bison

    bison Habitué

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    I have to say I've never seen any of this happen during class time. I'm sure it must happen, but I just don't think it's that widespread. I only hear of it on this forum.
     
  15. yellowdaisies

    yellowdaisies Enthusiast

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    This!!!

    I could never have a candid conversation with a colleague again. That really bothers me.

    I do like the idea of having tantrums thrown by kids with severe behaviors caught on video so that admin, etc could see what is really being dealt with and how much instruction the other kids might be missing...

    But, it's not worth the cost. I would hate being under surveillance ALL the time, mostly meaning on my free time.
     
  16. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Virtuoso

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    In my experience of being recorded, I have those conversations with my co-workers, but with the knowledge that nobody actually listens to the recordings unless there is some specific reason that it should be pulled. I had a discussion with another teacher that turned into a series of accusations against me. It was a relief to know I could have requested the tape be pulled if those accusations had gotten out of control. However, nobody ever heard the recording because the other teacher resigned at the end of the year.

    It honestly depends upon how the administration uses, abuses, or ignores this monitoring.
     
  17. lucybelle

    lucybelle Connoisseur

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    This is how I feel as well. In between classes, lunch time, and prep time should not be taped. During class? That's just fine. I'm used to the notion that at any time administration could walk into my classroom. I don't think taping is much different. In fact it might be nicer than those 5 second drop-ins that can potentially go very poorly if someone doesn't know the whole story.
     
  18. Croissant

    Croissant Comrade

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    Absolutely not. I understand how it would help for documentation purposes, but teachers spend a lot of time in their classrooms without students. The time I spend alone in my room is my time, and my administration should trust that I am spending that time honorably. They did decide I was trustworthy enough to hire, afterall. Yes, there are moments where I close my door so that I can vent to another teacher and say things I may not want higher ups to hear. That's my right. I'm not naive enough to think administrators don't know that's going on, but I still don't want them to see or hear it!

    Now, there is a camera right outside my door. There have been a couple times where I needed to confront a student about his or her behavior and I purposely did it in the hallway in front of the camera just in case they reacted badly. I've also sent bad attitudes into the hallway and told them that the camera will watch them while they cool themselves off. Aaaand....I maaay have let certain students think there is a camera in my classroom....
     
  19. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Virtuoso

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  20. greendream

    greendream Comrade

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    I would love to have administration view footage of my classroom--live or recorded. I know that I'm doing what I'm doing my job, and it would cut out a lot of the "he said, she said" when dealing with discipline issues. I would love to show parents video of things that students have said to me in class.
     
  21. iheartscience

    iheartscience Rookie

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    I teach in a fairly small school. We have cameras in every classroom along with all of the hallways. I don't mind it at all. My classroom has a large bank of windows open to a hallway so my room is pretty visible all the time anyways, and there's a bathroom about 30 ft down the hall if I need to "adjust" myself or anything. The video has only ever been pulled 4-5 times so I'm not too concerned about what I say in my room. I like knowing that the video is there as a backup, though.
     

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