In the late 19th century, principals shared their duties with central office personnel as a function of supervision (Nolan, 2010). Those duties have since been passed down to the instructional supervisor. Instructional supervision is an important concept that must be understood by all stakeholders in order to achieve federal, state, and local teaching objectives. At school, the principal may be the sole instructional supervisor. Recently, the work of the principal as instructional supervisor has shifted to focus more on increasing academic results for all students given the accountability requirements of No Child Left Behind (NCLB), (Zepeda, 2007).
This project is primarily based around interview, with the results of being collated in this report to be presented in the final report. This report brings together material collated from Dudley County High School (DCHS) instructional supervisor in the following key areas: 1) school climate, 2) communication, 3) educational philosophy, and 4) school improvement. The methodology adopted has involved interviewing and observation of the instructional supervisor, teachers, students, and the school environment complemented by a brief review of documentation. Interviews took place in person to facilitate data collection. Following the interviews, I created a short summary report, using key words as appropriate to facilitate comparisons. This report will become part of the final project. Included in the report is feedback from the staff and students as to how useful the material has been and recommendations on what type of material and training they would benefit from. This report will:
1. Analyze the process of instructional supervision used at DCHS
2. Evaluate the efficacy of the process
Analyze the Process of Instructional Supervision at the Designated School
The process of instructional supervision at the school involves the supervision and evaluation process. The instructional supervisors advocate individual teacher growth and development beyond their current level of performance. The leadership strives to meet teachers and students where they are, wherever that may be and reach beyond that level. This process is the responsibility of the principal who is required to provide educational and strategic leadership and supervision to teachers, staff, and students while ensuring the delivery of quality services.
The instructional supervisor at this school provides limited oversight of teachers, staffing, enrollment, attendance, and discipline due to her day-to-day duties away from the school. The other school officials (associate principal and assistant principals) have been instrumental in sustaining a positive relationship with stakeholders as they actively seek ways to increase awareness of school programs and solicit stakeholder’s support. Regardless of the other duties, schools are about principals leading and supporting, teachers teaching, and students learning (Hoy & Hoy, 2006).
The purpose of teacher evaluation is to ensure quality instruction and promote growth and reflection among the professional staff (Nolan, 2010). This process is determined in some type of summative rating either numerical or qualitative. Instructional leaders at the school evaluate teacher’s performance against standards set by the district, the state, and the contract and determines whether the teacher’s performance is satisfactory or not. To accomplish this task, the associate principal and assistance principals often conduct face-to-face visits to the teacher’s classroom at least once per school year to evaluate their instructional performance and abilities. In doing so, certain criteria are observed, recorded, and reported as part of the supervision process.
Evaluate the Efficacy of the Instructional Supervision Process
The current process of instructional supervision at DCHS has problem with supervision and evaluation because there is no clear distinction between the two functions when teachers, students, and staff perceived the two performed by the instructional supervisor, the principal. As stated above, the management of the day-to-day operation of DCHS is done by the associate principal. Per conversation with a random sampling of the teachers, the principal has not conducted an evaluation in over two years.
With the principal being unavailable, primary supervision and evaluation responsibilities are sometimes rotated. This rotating process creates conflict and cause confusion among the teachers. Lack of having well defined criteria can cause some major problems in the school environment (Celebi, 2010). Often the classroom observation becomes an evaluation of the teacher rather than a collaborative exercise to improve instruction, leading to conflict, and mistrust between teachers and administrators.
Recommendations for Improvement
So how can schools develop a process for supervision and evaluation that separates the two functions even if they are the responsibilities of the same administrator? For instructional supervision to fully benefit schools,
1. The instructional supervisor must be more involved in managing the day-to-day operation of DCHS. She has to find ways to improve her time management skills so the school functions more effectively.
2. The instructional supervisor should make routine classroom visits ahead of evaluation. Feedback should be timely, measurable, and specific.
3. The process of supervision and evaluation could be less burdensome with less repetition of information from the four instructional leaders who causes confusion among teachers.
4. Teachers should be informed well in advance if a classroom walk-through will be a formal or informal visit. Regardless, the visit should be an opportunity to provide guidance, direction, motivation, and mentorship by the supervisor to improve instruction.
5. The leadership should continue frequent collaboration and open communication daily.
An interview of the instructional supervisor, teachers, and students were conducted to assess the school climate of DCHS. The role of instructional supervisor is multifaceted and involves a myriad of duties and responsibilities to improve instruction and student achievement. The instructional supervisor should direct their attention on helping teachers improve their instructional performance not just evaluate the instruction quality at the end of the process.
Çelebi, N. (2010). Public high school teachers’ opinions on school administrators’ supervision
duty in Turkey. Cypriot Journal Of Educational Sciences, 5(3), 212-231.
Hoy, A.W. ; Hoy, W.K. (2006). Instructional Leadership: A Research-Based Guide to Learning
in Schools. Boston, MA: Pearson Education.
Nolan, J. Jr. (2010). Teacher supervision and evaluation: Theory into practice (3rd ed.). John
Wiley ; Sons, Inc.
Zepeda, S.J. (2007). The Principal as Instructional Leader: A Handbook for Supervisors. 2nd
edition. Retrieved from http://www.eric.ed.gov/ERICWebPortal/search/detailmini.jsp?_nfpb=true;_;ERICExtSearch_SearchValue_0=ED497035;ERICExtSearch_SearchType_0=no;accno=ED497035