Developing Teachers as Leaders
One of the main responsibilities of being an administrator in the K-12 education setting is to evaluate the performance of faculty and staff. Understanding the importance the role supervision and evaluation plays in the development of teacher leaders is vital to the culture of the school in which the practice is being utilized.
In the Graduate Programs in Education at the University of New England, students in the Transformative Leadership focus area, and specifically the Supervision and Evaluation course, are provided the opportunity to share some of the key takeaways they’ve learned from the process of evaluating their own colleagues.
Findings from Student Feedback
A central theme that surfaced from this student feedback is that communication is integral to the supervision and evaluation process. Students repeatedly reflected on multi-directional communication as a foundational approach to effective supervision and evaluation planning and implementation. Students also stated post observation conferences as one of the biggest levers for change.
Within their own work environments, teachers in the program identified concerns of moving from a role of peer to supervisor and how such a shift changes the dynamics of relationships. In that same vein, students described feeling a new respect for administrators based on the challenges they face in their roles as supervisors and evaluators. Viewing their schools through a different lens enabled students to reflect on their own leadership styles and rendered a sense of empowerment as they re-evaluated the differences they could make as leaders themselves.
Systems Used for Supervision and Evaluation
So what are school districts practicing when it comes to supervision and evaluation frameworks? Nearly all of the students in the Graduate Programs in Education at UNE who provided feedback identified Danielson and Marshall as systems being used in their districts. Additionally, a smaller portion of students surveyed identified Marzano as a system being used in their district. Out of all of the methods discussed by students, Marshall’s mini-observations appeared to be a favored approach. Mini-observations were highlighted as a method that provides more interactions with teachers, helps in building positive relationships, and allows more opportunities for feedback.
Creating professional development opportunities for teachers is essential to their growth and practice. UNE’s Graduate Programs in Education believes in providing a broad range of theory and methodology to meet the diverse needs of our learners who are practicing all over the United States and abroad.
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