Teacher Films Students for Documentary

We have heard all types of cases of misconduct from educators. The media is very quick to make news of teachers who are not meeting their professional standard. London is no exception.

A couple of years ago, Angela Mason posed undercover as a supply teacher in London. She was working as a journalist to create a documentary titled Classroom Chaos for Five. She had previously been a teacher but had left the profession over thirty years ago to make a career in broadcasting.

Mason used a hidden camera in her purse and in a shirt buttonhole. She then recorded the class of students being very disruptive as she tried to teach. Her recording revealed students as they used the computers for pornography, used inappropriate language, started fights, and carried out disrespectful conduct.

After watching the films, the General Teaching Council found Ms. Mason guilty. They noted that she did not use proper methods to control the class. They also stated that she used inappropriate means of correction. They admitted that as a journalist, her act possibly could be justified. However, as teacher she broke the trust of students and parents.

I believe that this act of journalism was taken too far. I also agree that I would not want my children or myself secretly filmed. However, the acts described and shown in the video were very unacceptable. If these are the typical acts of the students at this school, then someone needs to be made aware.

The Council had stated that the teacher did not use good methods of control. I would hope that even in the worse cases of teachers and substitutes that children would know better than to use the language and sexual innuendos that were detailed in the filming.

I think that there comes a point when the public needs to be made aware of certain situations. Often it is the media that does this for us. School buses are usually equipped with cameras. I do not think that it is a bad idea for our classrooms to occasionally be filmed and made available for parents. I feel that it might be a benefit for teachers, parents, and students alike.

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