School Safety Expert Advice on Simple Techniques to Improve Supervision of Children – Positioning

As we often emphasize in our books, training videos, presentations, articles and web courses, improving supervision of students is one of the most powerful yet frequently neglected tools available to improve school safety, climate, culture and even emergency preparedness.  Expert witnesses are often asked to review the supervision of children in cases of school and childcare facility safety litigation.

One technique that is particularly easy to apply and at the same time, quite effective is to emphasize proper positioning of staff in relation to children they are supervising.  For example, if an adult is walking a group of students from one location to the other and they take a position at the front of a line of students, they are not in a good position to observe the children.  While this position may at times be appropriate with very young children, it is often not the best position for observing students.

Similarly, if teachers in a school who are assigned to monitor hallways at key times, they can often take a position at an intersection of multiple hallways to enable them to observe multiple areas of the building at one time.

This simple technique can significantly improve the level of supervision without placing a significant burden on staff.


About Michael Dorn

Michael Dorn serves as the Executive Director of Safe Havens International, a non-profit school safety center. The author of 27 books on school safety, Michael’s campus safety work has taken him to 11 countries over the past 34 years.