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Think You're on Candid Camera in the Classroom? Here's What to Do.

We live in an increasingly transparent world. Technologies such as smart phones, tablets, and reliable Internet access are every day teacher resources that we take for granted. They provide us with the opportunity to extend student learning beyond the classroom walls and engage it authentic learning experiences. Unfortunately, there are also risks with providing these tools in a classroom. There are more than 500,000 videos currently on YouTube showing teachers discreetly filmed during class without their knowledge or consent. Not only is this an invasion of privacy, but when singular teacher reactions or exchanges with students are taken out of context they can appear more condemning than they actually are. Here is how to respond if you suspect a student is taking videos of you during class.

Step 1 - Don't escalate the situation by becoming angry or increasing the volume or tone of your voice. Calmly ask the student to turn off their phone. Do not attempt to take the phone as this could potentially be seen as a menacing or threatening response.

Step 2 - Ask the student to power down the phone and give it to you. Do not attempt to access the phone on your own and retrieve the images or videos. If there are inappropriate or illicit videos materials on the device, you may be held liable if you access them.

Step 3 - Immediately surrender the phone to the building administrator. Every school handles these situations differently, but there will certainly be a protocol the administrator follows to assure that the wrongfully taken videos are successfully removed and the student’s behavior is addressed.

Being a better substitute teacher means being able to respond and adapt to any situation. Don’t let student misuse of technology catch you off guard! For more substitute teaching tips and advice, check our blog. Have some advice of your own? We'd love to hear it in the comments below!


photo credit: 2006-09-12 Orange County security - (license)

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