In many schools, the return to school in January signals the beginning of the “formal” class visits that ultimately become part of a teacher’s summative assessment. It is also the time in which many administrators perform the “formative” observations based on goals set earlier in the year.
As such, I thought some reflection on the nature of instructional supervision would be appropriate. I have included my own thoughts below.
Instructional supervision is a process through which the instruction is reviewed and refined in order to define and implement the most effective instructional strategies. Therefore, the purpose of supervision is to prompt teachers to seek out new methods while sharpening their current skills. Teachers are willing to do this when the supervisor actively promotes a supportive and caring relationship with teachers. Recognizing that there are many factors influencing teacher performance, the supervisor will listen, encourage, and ask questions. Teachers are ultimately responsible for strategies they employ. The supervisor acts as a resource for the teacher while constantly seeking to create an atmosphere of mutual understanding, trust, and security.
A good instructional leader is among a school’s most valuable assets. Developing and promoting an atmosphere of true professional development is essential to the continued growth of your programs. With the introduction of digital tools, the role of the instructional leader should adapt to the changing nature of instruction in a more constructivist and collaborative environment.
How does your school lead instruction today and how has it changed in the past few years? Has it changed at all? What role can technology play in helping male the supervision of instruction more effective and efficient?