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.
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.
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.