When I think of supervision, I think of a process where the supervisor and the staff has developed and built a relationship and rapport. Communication is a key component in this process as collaboration is frequent and on-going. A supervisor must listen, hear the staff, and be supportive. This is extremely important in order to gain the respect and trust of the staff. Supervision is constantly revolving and staff can be at various points throughout the school year and their career. Effective supervision promotes a collegial relationship and conversation based on strengths and needs through a shared vision of the program and/or classroom. Guiding professional development opportunities is an important component of supervision that is essential to building leadership and capacity within your staff. I utilize supervision constantly as I visit classrooms. I do not believe that supervision clearly identifies the supervisor and the subordinates in distinct roles as I have tried to develop and promote a collegial experience for my staff where everyone is part of the group and their opinion matters and is important. As new ideas are implemented within the program, I have in the past and continue to discuss it with my teacher leaders to see, hear, and understand their perspective on the topic. Currently, we are looking to implement program books for each student in our program and we introduced this idea last school year. We gave the teachers an opportunity to think about this new iniative and provide a list of the documents that might be included. Many teachers provided me with feedback via discussions and emails. We are now taking the feedback into consideration as we prepare our staff development for next week on the program books and the items to be included. Through the supevision process, I currently supervise approximately nintey staff members to include classroom teachers, associate teachers, interpreters and transition coaches. At the Intermediate Unit, we utilize Charolette Danielson’s Framework for Teaching (2007) when completing classroom observations. Throughout the school year we look for documentation to show performance in the four domains as identified by Danielson (2007):
1. Planning and Preparation
3. The Classroom Environment
4. Professional Development
Unfortunately, we do not follow Danielson’s (2007) model exactly. For example, I do not formally conduct pre and post conferences in relation to the observation. However, I am frequently talking to my staff in regard to instruction, strategies, student performance and progress within the classroom. For the classroom associates, interpreters and transition coaches checklists are completed on an annual basis in regard to their performance in the classroom. In our organization, I am directly supervised by the Director of Special Education. Her superior is the Assistant Executive Director and the Executive Director. I also work closely with the Human Resource Director. My director is an active participant in our programs as I consult with her on a daily basis. She is not one to micromanage, but she has high expectations that you will get the job done in an appropriate manner. She provides advice and support in tough situations that include staff, parents, and students. Our formal evaluations are conducted annually as we reflect and provide artifacts in relation to our job description. We then have a discussion about the year and what was accomplished. The evaluation process concludes with my director writing a formal paragraph summing up the year.