Candid camera in the classroom

Candid camera in the classroom
Some British teachers think classroom webcams will solve behavior problems by letting parents see how their little angels are acting up in class.

Webcams have already been introduced in a small number of nurseries. (Simon) Smith, a teacher at Sweyne Park comprehensive in Rayleigh said the experiment should be extended throughout the school system.

He said: “Bad behaviour in class is a big issue throughout the school system, but teachers have to handle it on their own. If pupils knew their parents could see how they were behaving then they would think twice about disrupting classes.”

Really? The kids who are creating the most havoc probably have parents who are the least likely to tune in to the Fourth Grade Follies. Parents who do watch are more likely to criticize the teacher than to side with her against their own child.

Classroom cameras also would make it easier for principals or other outside evaluators to monitor teachers’ performance, documenting problems on tape. Some teachers would welcome more feedback; most would prefer to know when the principal is in the room.

Kimberly Swygert thinks teachers should control their classrooms.

This webcam idea puts the burden back on parents to be aware of what their kids are doing ’round the clock, and leaves the door open for schools to avoid the responsibility for imposing standards and discipline altogether.

Some schools require a parent of a misbehaving child to sit in class with him for a day. The inconvenience and embarrassment are a plus.

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