CCTV in the classroom- pros and cons

The first thing I thought when I heard we were getting CCTV in all the classrooms was that the parents could access it and every day would turn into our very own drama. Thankfully, only the boss has access but it got me to thinking about the pros and cons of having cctv in the classroom. Before I talk about the whether it’s a good idea for my school, let’s take a look at some of the general pros and cons.

Pros;

1. Can prevent bad behavior- If the students know they are being watched, they might be better behaved. This might prevent bullying and intimidation. It can also prevent inappropriate behavior from teacher’s/ care givers.

2. Accidents- If a child gets hurt, the footage of the reason/cause can be seen.

3. Teachers-  Can use footage to improve on classroom management, problem areas etc. Teacher evaluations can be done using video footage.

4. Parents- feel more secure knowing that the classrooms are being constantly monitored.

5. Security- Students and teachers possessions are secure.

6. Protection- Teachers and students can be protected from false accusations.

 


 

Cons

1. Privacy- One could argue that CCTV in the classroom is an infringement of both the student’s and the teacher’s privacy.

2. Trust- Installing CCTV sends a clear message that no trust exists between the principal and teacher and between parents and school.

3. Performance- Constantly being watched might affect a teacher’s performance.

4. Parents- Turns already picky parents pickier.

5. While it might prevent bad behavior, it might also just encourage students to take their bad behavior to areas not accessed by camera.

6. Can lead to a “guilty until proven innocent” attitude.


We’ve all heard the horror of children and teachers being mistreated at schools around the world. It happens. Everyone has their own opinion on whether a school should have cameras installed. This blog looks at my situation here in Korea.

I work in a Korean Kindergarten that takes children from Korean age 4 (western age 3) to age 7 (6). In September, it looks like we’ll open a 3 year old class. We have over 100 students over 2 floors so that makes for a lot of little people walking around at any one time.

Parents tend to be extremely picky here. Everything from the condition of the chairs in the classroom to the temperature we set the air con to is questioned by one parent or another.

With this many students, accidents happen. The younger classes have an assistant in the classroom with the teacher at all times but even that isn’t enough to prevent a child falling or a fight or whatever. No matter how small the injury though, we are always the first ones blamed.

For this reason, I believe CCTV in the classrooms at our school can be a good thing. Parents can come in, see the footage and the situation can be solved faster than it could have been previously without the cameras.

New parents are put at ease when they discover the classrooms have cameras so it encourages them to send their children to our school over another.

One of our classes has also turned into a fight club this year. It’s very difficult to get through the class without at least one fight starting. For whatever reason, the children are woefully behaved in that particular class but when the teachers complain, the parents can’t possibly believe that their little angel could be capable of the things we’re had to witness.

Now, with CCTV, we can show them exactly what happened and hopefully do something to stop the bad behavior.

The cameras are only picture, no sound. If a parent was to review footage, they can only judge on the physical actions and this can be interpreted differently. One could argue that their child only behaved in a certain way because they were verbally provoked by another student.

However, most of the teachers feel that installing the cameras screams that the boss doesn’t trust us and as a result the atmosphere could be cut with a knife around here. Everyone is afraid to do anything close to fun for fear that it would be seen as a negative thing and used against them.

The school has turned into Big Brother. The second you walk off the elevator, there are cameras. The only place minus a camera are the bathrooms, the corridors and classrooms are all monitored. This is a great thing for keeping the children, the teachers and all our possessions safe. It also acts to deter any thieves etc that might be hanging around.

On the other hand, privacy is something that doesn’t exist here, neither does trust. At the end of the day, while this is a kindergarten, it’s also a business and money is the bottom line. My boss will do anything to keep a child here, I’ve seen that before. Parents don’t particularly trust us, and head office haven’t trusted us since day 1.

We’re only a week into this so I’m still on the ledge about whether this Big Brother style school is more good or bad.

*Everything in this post is my own opinion*

If you want to share your, leave a comment below.

 

 

 

My name is Shauna and I love Kimchi!

I’ve just read an article about the rise and rise of Kimchi. Here is the link .

When first I arrived in Korea, my nose followed the curious smell that simply hung in the air at meal time. I didn’t have to go to far to realise that Kimchi was the source and that any negative thoughts should be kept to myself for fear my lack of love for this unique dish was grounds for deportation. That’s how much the Koreans love Kimchi.

My food teaching revolved around the word Kimchi. “What did you eat for breakfast? Kimchi and rice. What did you eat for lunch? Kimchi and rice.  What did you eat for dinner? Kimchi……………and rice” Can you see the trend here? No other food is actually worth mentioning or eating in the eyes of a 6 year old Korean child.

I simply couldn’t take to it. It was a mental block, really. What put me off was that it was cold and all there in one big pile together. And the smell. Urgh, that smell. I would be a cast off, sitting, eating my bland lunch of rice and vegetables desperate for a bit of flavour. For the longest time I stayed strong but the more and more Korean friends I made, the more it became next to impossible to avoid it. It’s everywhere, especially if we went out to a meal together. Eventually, I started eating Kimchi Jigae (Kimchi soup) which is cheap and cheerful and puts a fire in your belly, the perfect Sunday morning hang over cure. This escalated to mixing some with rice at lunch time and now, I simply cannot imagine my life without Kimchi.

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Lunch dishes including Kimchi.

This year, when Kimjang (Kimchi making) was finished, my landlady presented me with the biggest container of Kimchi you’ve ever seen. Daunted by the task of having single handedly eat a mountain of Kimchi, I first took the natural decision to share it out among my friends. Turns out not many of my foreigners friends are partial to the old bit of Kimchi so my mountain was still a mountain after sharing. Taking one for the team, I set out to eat it all and there are so many dishes you can make with Kimchi that I think I’ll run out before I try them all.

My personal favourite is Kimchi Jigae. Easy to make with hardly any preparation time, this is the perfect dish after a day at work. And if you already have the Kimchi, you simply need to add a little tofu or a few spices  or beans or whatever you have in the press to add that extra flavour.

Next is Kimchi Spaghetti/pasta. So delicious, easy to make and especially flavoursome if you add cheese. Sometimes, if I’m going all out Kimchi and ramen is super delicious with cheese on the top.

As a world’s biggest fan of potatoes, Kimchi is the perfect addition. Mashed potatoes and Kimchi, baked potatoes and Kimchi, chips and kimchi, potato salad and Kimchi, colcannon and kimchi, potato pie and kimchi, just so many things, the list goes on and on.

You can simply eat Kimchi and cheese on toast. Delicious, nutritious and so easy to make. That’s a recent addition to my Kimchi list. There are a million others including one dish I like to call “Simply Kimchi”.

Pro’s of eating Kimchi include;

  • Healthy
  • Cheap (especially if a kind Korean will give you some for free)
  • Easy to prepare
  • Long lasting
  • Delicious
  • Is suitable to all those who are vegetarian, vegan, and other things that end in “an”

Con’s include

  • It’s kimchi….uurrrghh
  • The smell…..
  • It can make your food taste funny if you keep it too close and don’t have a fancy Kimchi fridge
  • There’s just so much of it

Some can tell the difference between the different types of Kimchi but I don’t think I’m quite at that stage yet, hence failed one requirement of bring a Kimchi Grand Master like the adjumma in the article. Never mind, I’ll continue to eat my Kimchi and encourage other foreigners I meet to do like wise.