As Principal, I would certainly notify Ms. Paulson immediately regarding this issue. This initial action would be specifically in accordance with her individual rights. Additionally, this preliminary notification would provide her with an opportunity to confess to any wrongful action or provide other information that could be potentially helpful to (or even negate) any further investigation. Hopefully, some useful data leading to appropriate routes for corrective actions will be birthed from this interaction. Though even if no help comes of this tactic, it is nevertheless clear that many core principles of teacher supervision, evaluation and even educational law are relevant in this case.
Supervisory issues with reference to this matter would unquestionably rest on the shoulders of Ms. Paulson. As a primary educational advocate in the classroom, she is ultimately responsible for creating and maintaining an effective means of supervising her students. If for any reason she feels unable to adequately monitor her class, it is also her responsibility to bring her concerns to myself or any other actionable superior. If sufficient headway is not garnered through Ms. Paulson's initial interview regarding this matter, it is certainly likely that her supervisory methods will be cause for a deeper investigation. If this is in fact the case, such an investigation will be conducted quickly (within a matter of days after the incident) and effectively. My administrative peers and I will collaborate in interviewing Ms. Paulson's peers as well as students in her other classes (especially those with former disciplinary records) and those who utilize her classroom. Being that these individuals regularly interact with Ms. Paulson and/or frequently utilize the resources in her classroom, this would be the first (and probably the most helpful) demographic in this type of situation. Ultimately, if it is found that this incident occurred as a result of Ms. Paulson's inadequate supervisory skills, I will be forced to terminate her employment with our institution. Being that I would have to provide information about this matter to the local media, I would ideally make a conservative statement (not compromising Ms. Paulson's individual rights or confidentiality) illustrating that our school will not hesitate to take action to protect the welfare of our students.
Even if the ultimate cause of this unfortunate incident is determined to be a result of Ms. Paulson's poor supervision, other educational principles will also be subsequently called into question. Evaluative methods would comprise one such facet of this educational organization. While poor evaluation standards may not be directly attributable to this regrettable occurrence, such techniques may have been able to prevent it. In other words, an effective means of evaluating a teacher's in-class performance would potentially allow school officials to pick up on educational shortcomings (like poor supervisory skills) before they create problems in the future. Furthermore, being that this particular incident occurred in a classroom full of computers, technical protection systems would also be a potential cause for concern. Once again with effectual technological control mechanisms in place, it would seem much less likely that any student would be able to access such objectionable material. In taking each of the aforementioned actions, administrators would be able to step in and take corrective steps prior to any undesirable events and hopefully not have to lose any valuable human resources. Thus, with the great potentiality associated with effective evaluation methods, our current evaluative system would certainly require some reevaluation and possible restructuring. Such assessments would likely occur after the conclusion of the investigation.
Lastly, educational laws also come into play regarding this horrific incident. Such laws typically dictate specific evaluative standards for every school. However, with the great variance in state-level educational criterion, it behooves every school to strive for greater levels of performance and higher standards across the board. While some states' requirements are primarily quantitative (assessing a teacher's classroom performance based upon her students' success in standardized testing), other states base their evaluations on more qualitative measurement styles. Thus, regardless of the state or district, I believe that as principal, it is my duty to ensure that our educational institution maintains an effective balance of both qualitative and quantitative evaluation methods. Without question, we want our students to experience great levels of success on the numerous (and very important) standardized tests they will be exposed to throughout their educational lifetimes. However, (as is highly evident from the occurrence in question) we also want to ensure that our students are getting the highest possible levels of attention and supervision in the classroom. While some districts are only legally mandated to perform in-class evaluations annually (and twice per decade with tenured teachers), I believe this process (a valuable and protective tool) should be conducted with much more regularity. Thus, even if all results are not presented to state authorities or strictly mandated by law, I would like to be personally and continuously informed regarding the educational performance and capacities of our teaching professionals.
Addressing the Situation
It is most likely that this lamentable incident was a result of negligence. Responsibility for this type of negligent behavior rests primarily on the shoulders of the in-classroom teachers, though administrators must also bear some responsibility. Such personnel are liable for continuously assessing the performance and potential problem areas of their staff . Nevertheless, as stated, the bulk of the blame goes to the teaching professional that is present in the classroom on a regular basis. With the naturally exploratory nature of children (which is enhanced when they are place in front of technological "toys" like computers) and the countless attractive dangers that can be found by simply making a few clicks on the internet, teachers in technological classrooms must be highly aware of their entire student body and their ongoing activities . Furthermore, knowing the highly impressionable disposition of almost all children, the aforementioned tasks should remain at the core of every computer teacher's job responsibilities. Thus failure to adequately monitor one's students in this environment should be cause for serious corrective action.
Over the years there have been countless studies done regarding the intense curiosity that is naturally present in almost every healthy child . Such biological traits affect various aspects of a child's early and developmental life. Many common and highly relevant areas include, "sex, social class, intelligence and achievement level" (Kreitler, Zigler, & Kreitler, 1975, p. 185). Therefore, it is very easy to make the association between these effectible areas and the daily aspects of a child's educational life. Knowing the extensive relevance these areas have to the classroom and the numerous tools present in a computer classroom to fuel such curiosity, it is absolutely essential that teaching professionals in these educational environments be extremely vigilant and knowledgeable about their subject matter. The current technological marketplace is extremely geared towards children (Nalwa & Anand, 2003). With the vast prevalence of video and computer games promoting prolonged complacency, children are abandoning more traditional physical pastimes and becoming much more educated about recreational technology (Roussou, 2004). This reality has occurred to such an extent that disorders like Internet addiction and videogame addiction are becoming more and more common (Nalwa & Anand, 2003). Thus, once again, teachers in computer classes must continuously educate themselves about protective devices and current harmful trends among children concerning technology. For with ever-growing technological knowledge in our nation's children, such educational professionals must take extra steps to assure they are not negligent.
Knowing the enormous harmful potential created by the mixture of unguarded technological resources and a child's naturally explorative tendencies, the possible negative outcomes associated with negligent supervisors in this type of conglomerate environment are certainly monumental. As previously implied, teachers in the technology department must continually educate themselves regarding the new and ever-changing intricacies of computers and computer education. In doing so, they will be protecting themselves from potential claims of negligent behavior and they will also be able to offer their students a more comprehensive and knowledgeable resource in the classroom. Consequently, it is obvious that a great deal of self-motivation and individual work is necessary on behalf of teachers in technological classrooms. Thus, in order to help facilitate this process and ensure that these teachers are in fact completing this vital work with diligence, it is certainly helpful for schools to set specific standards for teachers in this area. By integrating this type of material into teacher contracts, official school policies and periodic teacher evaluations, educational institutions can protect all parties involved (including students) and set predetermined penalties for negligence and/or failure to maintain stated standards. For while teacher negligence is often difficult to prove in a courtroom, this type of system will be very helpful in assuring that teachers know the consequences of negligence relating to their job . Knowing the sensitive nature of many incidents concerning the Internet and technology (like the one discussed above), termination of employment would be the most reasonable solution in most cases. This will be done to ensure parents that school administrators have their children's safety as their top priority…