Video Cameras Recording the Classroom

Discussion in 'General Education' started by MrTempest, Sep 2, 2015.

  1. MrTempest

    MrTempest Companion

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2014
    Messages:
    185
    Likes Received:
    101

    Sep 2, 2015

    I was wondering about your thoughts and potential experiences with video camera recording your classrooms.

    Our new superintendent is suggesting he would like to see cameras in the classroom. While at first I thought this may be a good idea, (i.e. recording student behavior) I began to rethink my stance and be leery of what we wish for. First of all, I believe this would open the floodgates of ridiculous amounts of scrutiny, imagine having to explain yourself on a day, and heaven forbid, your class was not running at 100%. And it would not be the scrutiny from just admin, it could come from parents too. Additionally, I believe this undermines the credibility of teachers. Not too long ago, if the adult said something happened in the classroom that was the end of it. Now if a teacher says something happened, some feel obliged to ask Little Johnny, “Is that what happened?” :mad:Of course it did, that is what I, the teacher, the adult, said happened!

    Hopefully some of you will be willing to shares some thoughts on this.
     
  2.  
  3. Pashtun

    Pashtun Fanatic

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2013
    Messages:
    2,985
    Likes Received:
    435

    Sep 2, 2015

    A crappy boss is a crappy boss and will find ways to drive you nuts and scrutinize you no matter the stuation.

    I don't mind it because, just like for police, it helps show your innocence or guilt. Unfounded accusations can go very far for a teacher.
     
  4. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

    Joined:
    May 8, 2008
    Messages:
    8,347
    Likes Received:
    1,484

    Sep 2, 2015

    I record all of my classroom instructional sessions, but I'm in a different situation than many of you. I don't have a ton of behavior issues (I can stop chatting with the click of a mouse). The cameras in a traditional setting seem a little daunting. They would have a different vantage and would catch things the teacher wouldn't. Teachers cannot be everywhere!
     
  5. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2007
    Messages:
    17,362
    Likes Received:
    46

    Sep 2, 2015

    In Texas, beginning next school year, all of our life skills classrooms will be required by law to have video cameras in the classroom. The reasoning behind this is to ensure that the nonverbal students have a 'voice' in what may go on in some life skills classroom. It also provides protection for the life skills teachers/aides if a parent complains about what may/may not be going on in the classroom.
     
  6. Rox

    Rox Cohort

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2009
    Messages:
    586
    Likes Received:
    19

    Sep 2, 2015

    I am okay with having my classroom videotaped at all times. I have nothing to hide and I think it would make things easier for administration to deal with the false accusations from students. I know this is not a popular opinion, but it's how I feel.
     
  7. a2z

    a2z Maven

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2010
    Messages:
    5,815
    Likes Received:
    1,746

    Sep 2, 2015

    I'm confused as to how a video that backs up your claims every time would undermine your credibility?

    I believe for some teachers videotaping will be a nightmare. For others it will be a blessing. For most it will be somewhere in between. I would hope that there would be sound to go with the video because video without sound may not give a complete account of everything that happened. Sometimes words spoken that the camera won't catch can be the comment that sets off a confrontation or misbehavior in a classroom.
     
  8. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2014
    Messages:
    10,358
    Likes Received:
    2,557

    Sep 2, 2015

    I have worked in schools with video, and no problems. School with over 3000 students, so you better believe that they were interested in making sure everyone was where they were supposed to be. I have never heard of there being a problem where the video only was used to confirm a student's story, but suspect the students who were trying to leave the school during school hours had bigger fish to fry than to try and create trouble, especially if they have just been picked up leaving the campus.
     
  9. phillyteacher

    phillyteacher Comrade

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2015
    Messages:
    284
    Likes Received:
    124

    Sep 2, 2015

    We have video cameras in our classroom. I have no idea what happens with the video, but they're there. It doesn't bother me at all, I consider everything I do in my classroom to be public anyway.
     
  10. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2011
    Messages:
    5,770
    Likes Received:
    1,001

    Sep 2, 2015

    Yeah, I'd be more afraid of anything I did if there were cameras in the room. If you have a crappy boss, they will be micromanaging. Otherwise, one of the classrooms I use has a camera and they never check it unless something is wrong.

    I have a personal camera I use in my class to record when I need to (for personal PD mostly, or if something sneaky is repeatedly happening in the class and I want to catch the offender)
     
  11. live

    live Companion

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2012
    Messages:
    246
    Likes Received:
    2

    Sep 2, 2015

    It depends on administration.

    I taught at a school that had cameras in the classroom, and admin would routinely write teachers up for what they saw. Some truly outstanding teachers got written up for things as simple as allowing students to get out of their seats (we weren't allowed to let students get up for any reason aside from dismissal and bathrooms). As you can probably imagine, it was a hostile environment to work in with or without cameras.

    As for my most recent school... I would've trusted them with cameras in my classroom 100%.
     
  12. ChildWhisperer

    ChildWhisperer Groupie

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2015
    Messages:
    1,226
    Likes Received:
    422

    Sep 2, 2015

    I worked at a daycare with cameras everywhere.
    In the front lobby, there was a giant wall of tv monitors that showed what was going in every classroom so the parents & admin could watch their kids/teachers.
    Everyone hated it.
    The directors would call us out on stuff through the PA system, good & bad.
    "Oh I love Ms Whoever's dancing in the dance studio!"
    "Ms Whoever, you have 2 kids fighting in the block area!"
    Awful.
     
  13. HistoryVA

    HistoryVA Devotee

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2013
    Messages:
    1,016
    Likes Received:
    38

    Sep 2, 2015

    I wouldn't mind cameras on while I'm teaching, but I would not be comfortable with them on during my planning period. That 90 minutes a day is mine and they don't need to be watching. I can just imagine what would happen if they needed a teacher for some random meeting- "oh, lets check the cameras... Ms Whatsa doesn't look busy, call her." Eh, no.
     
  14. MelissainGA

    MelissainGA Groupie

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2004
    Messages:
    1,233
    Likes Received:
    0

    Sep 3, 2015

    Cameras were just installed over the summer at our school. Our high school and middle schools have them already. In fact I just went to training this afternoon so I could re-deliver to my team about how to record and such. According to what we were told today WE have control of who sees what, not admin or county office. We shall see. I plan on doing a couple of test recordings to see.
     
  15. MrTempest

    MrTempest Companion

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2014
    Messages:
    185
    Likes Received:
    101

    Sep 4, 2015

    I think that this is a good idea
     
  16. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Aficionado

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2010
    Messages:
    3,032
    Likes Received:
    498

    Sep 4, 2015

    I am kind of surprised that there isn't more videotaping. The technology is there, and it is quite easy to find a way to implement it.

    I am okay with it. I understand the concern with poor admin. using cameras. I believe poor administrators will be poor with or without video cameras. I don't think video cameras will change schools very much.
     
  17. phillyteacher

    phillyteacher Comrade

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2015
    Messages:
    284
    Likes Received:
    124

    Sep 6, 2015

    I agree completely. If administrators are bad, sure cameras may add to that but they're going to be bad with or without them. Cameras themselves aren't really the issue.
     
  18. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2010
    Messages:
    4,771
    Likes Received:
    999

    Sep 6, 2015

    We have cameras in our classrooms. We can opt out, but I prefer them.
    I just feel so much better that no one could ever make an accusation that I touched them inappropriately, or acted in an unquestionable way. The students know about the cameras, obviously, so they know anything they do is actually recorded for 7 days, so we can always go back and watch it if we didn't catch something. Student problems it cuts down: fighting, tagging on the desks, stealing, sneaking their phones in and using them, and other general misbehavior.

    Sound is not recorded and my P understand that anything you see on the camera may be misconstrued so she obviously uses common sense. I have a very good boss so I'm not worried about micromanaging or problems from her. In fact, I know she's often watching and my classes are going smoothly. If one day she came in and there was absolute chaos, she could still know that usually it's not like that.
     
  19. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2010
    Messages:
    4,330
    Likes Received:
    571

    Sep 6, 2015

    One of the great things that I love about teaching is that my classroom is my domain. I switched jobs (within the same company) at my last job so I could work by myself. So I could have my autonomy. I wouldn't be thrilled about being watched all of the time.

    I suspect I'd get far more criticism than compliments if I was being recorded. Our counselors and admin are of the belief that if you only let Johnny do what he wants, he won't be disruptive in class. I actually had one tell me that he was changing a child's behavior plan to "allow student to do as he pleases, do not redirect." Which immediately brought down the rest of the class, of course. So I can only imagine how their responses to my insisting that students speak to me with respect would be.

    If parents had access to video streaming I'd have to leave teaching. Can you imagine? I'd get emails left and right about every little thing.
     
  20. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2013
    Messages:
    4,256
    Likes Received:
    793

    Sep 6, 2015

    One thing that would be nice would be if admin could do observations via video recording rather than being in the classroom. It seems like the kids always change their behavior when teachers are in the room, and I always get "stage fright" when adults are watching me.
     
  21. brigidy

    brigidy Comrade

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2006
    Messages:
    391
    Likes Received:
    0

    Sep 6, 2015

    I think I would get the "stage fright" each time I thought of the cameras! However, if the students knew there were cameras, it may decrease certain behavior problems. My principal would also know that I do try to give 100% each day.
     
  22. blazer

    blazer Connoisseur

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2009
    Messages:
    1,642
    Likes Received:
    365

    Sep 7, 2015

    Wouldn't this be against your constitution?
     
  23. HistoryVA

    HistoryVA Devotee

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2013
    Messages:
    1,016
    Likes Received:
    38

    Sep 7, 2015

    The workplace would not be covered by an expectation of privacy.
     
  24. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2010
    Messages:
    4,771
    Likes Received:
    999

    Sep 7, 2015

    We have a sign posted in each classroom that cameras are recording and that you should not have an expectation of privacy, or something like that.
     
  25. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Aficionado

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2010
    Messages:
    3,032
    Likes Received:
    498

    Sep 7, 2015

    Not likely. Some videotaping is allowed by law. The videotaping that is not allowed is when it is unknown such as hidden cameras. Principals couldn't hide hidden cameras in teachers' classrooms and not expect a lawsuit. There are other laws that might limit use of video cameras, but if a district worked closely with lawyers, I am sure they could find ways to use them in legal ways.
     
  26. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2010
    Messages:
    3,378
    Likes Received:
    1,723

    Sep 7, 2015

    Logically I see many benefits as long as they weren't used for micromanagement. Emotionally it would bug me.
     
  27. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2001
    Messages:
    24,950
    Likes Received:
    2,105

    Sep 7, 2015

    This could be considered s change of work conditions. My union would most likely be addressing this as a grievance.
     
  28. indigo-angel

    indigo-angel Companion

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2007
    Messages:
    200
    Likes Received:
    0

    Sep 8, 2015

    I wouldn't mind it if it was a school-wide/district-wide policy, meaning that everyone everywhere was being recorded. This would include the principals' office, main office, janitor's closet, hallways, lunchroom and kitchen, basement, etc.
     
  29. MrTempest

    MrTempest Companion

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2014
    Messages:
    185
    Likes Received:
    101

    Sep 10, 2015

    This is an interesting point.

    The more I have thought about this subject, I have moved to the position that if we were to add cameras to the classroom they should be treated in the same way some law enforcement agencies use them. The officer is in complete control of the camera and is able to turn it off whenever, documenting the reason (talking to spouse, eating lunch, bathroom)
     

Share This Page

Members Online Now

Total: 424 (members: 0, guests: 407, robots: 17)
test