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By Neil S. Haley and Dede Rittman
Neil S. Haley: CEO of Total Tutor and Total Education Network www.totaltutor.net The Total Education Network is syndicated on 120 + stations Total Education Network airs shows 7 days a week on Blogtalkradio www.blogtalkradio.com/totaltutor CEO, Producer, Host, Coach, Advocate, and Consultant412-523-0289 firstname.lastname@example.org
Dede Rittman: Author, Student Teaching: The Inside Scoop from a Master Teacher www.dederittman.com / www.bunnyteacher.blogspot.com Producer and Co-Host of The Total Education Q and A on the Total Education Network Guest Blog: 4 Fabulous Ideas for Summer Learning Fun
A very hot topic and question in Education right now is this: Should cameras in the classroom? In the state of Texas, a law was passed that puts cameras in self-contained special education classrooms. What do teachers think about cameras in all classrooms?
Formerly classroom teachers for a combined 48 years, we continue to teach and speak about Education on blogs, radio, and TV shows. We pose the question to teachers: should cameras be in every classroom? We say the answer is yes, for five strong reasons.
1. Cameras in the classroom would safeguard all students. We believe there are teachers bullies in classrooms and a camera would protect those students who are too afraid to speak out. Students who feel that they are being treated unfairly would be able to vocalize their concerns to administration and be supported by camera footage. Teacher bullies would have to change their behavior, and students would be given a better opportunity to learn. Learning cannot happen when students feel threatened. Isn’t learning what school is supposed to be about?
2. Cameras in the classroom would actually act as a protection for teachers as well. Sadly, students who make false accusations and present false testimony about teachers and teacher behavior are in our school systems, and cameras in the classroom would repudiate such allegations and testimony. Teachers should welcome cameras as a method leading to exoneration from false charges.
3. Parents would feel more comfortable with cameras in the classroom. When parents send their children to school, the expectation is that their children will be safe. Parents will enter into a “safe state of mind”, knowing that their children are being protected by the eye of the camera. As a parent of five children, I (Neil) think this is a huge reason to have cameras in every classroom.
4. Administrators will be able to solve issues that occur between the teacher and student. No longer will the issue be a “He said/she said”, it will be solved by viewing the recording of the camera. This method would certainly be more straightforward and less intrusive than interrogating every student in a particular classroom, and a resolution between teacher and student will be able to be reached more quickly.
5. Cameras will finally give administrators the information they need to get rid of bad teachers. As in any profession, there are those who do not give their best and who are not doing their jobs every day, and that job is to instruct students. We feel very strongly that students are being cheated by these kinds of teachers, who are often protected by their teacher unions. Cameras in the classroom would force these teachers to step up their work ethic or be booted out.
In conclusion, we are strong proponents for cameras in every classroom, not just special education classrooms, with the belief that the students, the teachers, the parents, and the administrators would all benefit from the use of this technology.