In Korea, almost every public area is under CCTV surveillance, so it should make sense that my classroom is too. Teaching at a large chain English academy, it’s important to management that their instructors can be monitored to ensure that students are getting the best possible experience, or so they say. Here are my pros and cons for having every class of mine monitored.
- There’s always a record of what has happened; misbehaving students cannot claim that they weren’t
- You’re able to receive constructive feedback based on your teaching style
- If something happens in the classroom when you’ve stepped away, the tapes can be rewound to observe what happened
- All aspects of your teaching style are picked apart with precision
- Class time must be adhered to properly; deviation from the curriculum even for a moment is monitored and reported. Sometimes you just want to talk about something cool with your students
- The stress of knowing management could be observing your every moment
Different academies will have different CCTV policies. While the cameras are always recording, how often they’re reviewed is up to management. I’ve heard of colleagues who have never had any mention of their classes being monitored, but I’ve also heard of colleagues who need to attend weekly meetings where tallies are kept of how often they sat, or moved around a room.
CCTV in the classroom makes me a more accountable employee, but a less personable teacher. I’m not able to go on tangents with my students to spark their interest, but I am glad to have a record of everything that happens in my classroom.