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Thursday, Oct. 23, 2014

Evaluating teachers by video

Posted Monday, April 28, 2008, at 10:15 PM

This Australian newspaper points out, www.smh.com.au/news/national/video-camer..., how some school districts, both there and in the United States, are installing video equipment in classrooms specifically so administrators can evaluate teachers more thoroughly.

I can see both pros and cons. From one side, since teachers are in a highly public position anyway -- lecturing 20-30 students at a time and, at higher grade levels, many students over a day's time -- why not video them?

But those videos may not capture the one-on-one teaching that's often so effective.

One problem teachers face is parents with personal vendettas against teachers over issues from discipline to grades, especially when the teacher's actually in the right.

Ever seen anything like that? I'd be amazed if you haven't.

Often the vendetta-spreaders are so out for revenge that they won't stop until they've practically destroyed someone. Could videos be effective in preventing situations like that?

And I realize security cameras are already in use in hallways, etc., but it seems like classroom and school bus discipline problems could be handled better with visual evidence, much like some police traffic stops are recorded.

Of course, some parents would insist their child be allowed to get by with anything.


Comments
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I'd like it if the teachers,students,etc. didn't wind up playing to the camera.

Even more than scheduled visits by the parents or superintendant,video monitoring could instill an artificial quality,prompt a few people to be "hams" and distract from real learning.

There's a spontaneity to authentic learning experiences that could be lost and more than a few children would hide behind an audience-friendly facade rather than reveal confusion or pain.

If they do film classes for such purposes,it should be intermittent and secret so no one knows when they are being watched.

(Film of their actions could surface at any time.)

An alternative use for such film would be to have a record of a class taught by a good teacher that could be checked out by an absent student or used to audit a class when that particular class is unavailable (due to schedule conflicts,cancellation,it already being full or other reasons).

I think we might be as surprised by the lack of scandalous results as we would be by the few shocking departures from intelligent behavior.

-- Posted by quantumcat on Tue, Apr 29, 2008, at 12:44 AM

I sometimes have a video camera on a tripod in my room. Sometimes I film myself so I can see what I look like teaching (not for vanity, but for effectiveness and clarity of instruction). I usually leave it mounted for convenience, but you can't look at the camera and tell when its recording. It's amazing how much behavior improves with some students who think they are being recorded.:-)

I personally wouldn't mind a camera being on while I'm teaching. I'd prefer not to be watched during my planning.

-- Posted by Jacks4me on Tue, Apr 29, 2008, at 7:23 AM

If I were a teacher, I would probably be uncomfortable at first. I would also want the videos to be closely protected for the students sake, but in the end, I think they would be good.

We had a poor experience with a private school and wish we had video and audio of the teacher's conduct. Chances are, the issue would have never arisen if they had known they might be taped. It would also have helped convince the administration that things were not as they should have been.

As mentioned above, it could also be useful in instructing parents on what their little darlings do in class.

-- Posted by stevemills on Tue, Apr 29, 2008, at 7:33 AM

I think cameras are great idea in the classroom because it would be the best evidence in case an issue occurred with a student or teacher. You would have the proof needed for proper discipline.

While I do believe some teachers in the wrong, it is shocking to see how many parents of today think their little Johnny or Susie can never do wrong and how they want to place the blame for a situation on anyone but their child which is more and likely caused by bad parenting.

-- Posted by jaxspike on Tue, Apr 29, 2008, at 8:25 AM

I think cameras are a great idea in the classroom because it would be the best evidence in case of an issue that occurred with a student or teacher. You would have the proof needed for proper discipline.

While I do believe some teachers are in the wrong, it is shocking to see how many parents of today think their little Johnny or Susie can never do wrong and how they want to place the blame for a situation on anyone but their child which is more and likely caused by bad parenting.

-- Posted by jaxspike on Tue, Apr 29, 2008, at 8:27 AM

May be good, and may be a waste of money that we do not need to be waisting. If their is a paticular teacher questionable then yes. But their are more people "Entire School Staff" including Principals and people working in the front offices that are dealing with these children "Daily", and therfore they "ALL" should be (Video - Taped). They all are getting paid by the Government, working with the public and need to be Evaluated TOO.

-- Posted by Momof3&3step&1gran on Tue, Apr 29, 2008, at 9:55 AM

I would like to see cameras at other places where county employees work, and the com center is one of them. This way people could see what is going on behind locked doors.

-- Posted by Lower Taxes Please on Tue, Apr 29, 2008, at 12:59 PM

I think it would be great also for alot of different good reasons...But it would cost so much to do this...Right now we are having problems keeping the budget in the good with the price of gas for all the buses...It is something for the school board to think about..But i really do not believe our schools could afford to have this done..It would be great to have it as a law like we have fire alarms in the schools....Maybe if all schools every were had this maybe..just maybe a child would think twice about bringing a gun to school or even drugs...Yes it would be GREAT to have it in the schools..

-- Posted by rebelrose on Thu, May 1, 2008, at 12:53 AM

They do have them in the schools they are in the hall ways. This story is talking about putting them in the class rooms so that "Administrators can evaluate the Teachers".

-- Posted by Momof3&3step&1gran on Thu, May 1, 2008, at 9:22 AM

I think it would be good to have this in the classrooms..But I do hate to see it come to this..I never thought that it would ever have to come to this..We could spend that money on so many other things in our school..But if it would help to keep our students and our teachers safe then I am for it..This way if a students does something it would be all on tape for proof..I believe that it would stop alot of the things that do go on in classrooms...A teacher could have proof if he or she ever has a sexually charge thrown at them from a student...I believe it would help in alot of way's..

-- Posted by rebelrose on Thu, May 1, 2008, at 12:59 PM


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David Melson is a copy editor and staff writer for the Times-Gazette.