Reflective Summary for Internship Activities
Arkansas State University
Name of Assignment*:
Successful School Observation
Course in which the assignment was given (course number and name): ELCI6083 Supervision and Evaluation of Teaching
Semester/year assignment was completed:
ELCC Standard Element(s)*:
Element 6.2: Candidates understand and can act to influence local, district, state, and national decisions affecting student learning in a district environment.
Describe in detail how the activity was planned and implemented. Include the date, location, stakeholders involved and specifics of planning and implementation of the activity. What did you do? Who was involved? Where did this activity take place?
On July 20, 2013 I reread the two textbooks, paying particular attention to the sections on supervisory techniques and teacher development levels. I took copious notes and arranged them according to headings. On July 22, 2013 I conducted a literature search on schools that had instituted a distributed leadership model. I downloaded relevant articles and took detailed notes. I drafted, polished, and revised my paper and completed the assignment on July 25, 2013.
List the document(s) included as artifacts for this activity. Including but not limited to federal/state/local laws or regulations related to the activity; policies; forms; minutes/agendas for meetings; new documents produced. For course embedded activities the artifact is the assignment that was completed for the field experience.
Supervisory Platform – Supervision of Teaching - A Collegial Model
Write a reflective summary of your knowledge, skills and understanding in planning and implementing this activity. The reflective summary should be a thoughtful and well-developed response (500 words or more) using the following questions as a guide: Describe in detail new knowledge and skills gained from participation in this activity. What did you learn about this area of leadership? What did you learn about yourself? What did you learn about your school and/or community? Describe in detail the challenges you experienced. What did you learn about your school that might need to be changed or improved? How could you have been better prepared for this activity? What would you do differently to improve the outcome? Did you have any “surprises” as you engaged in this activity? What more do you need to know or learn about your school to be a more effective school leader in this area of leadership? What do you need to do to improve in this area of leadership? Who could help you improve in this area of leadership?
Enter your response below. Response should be a minimum of 500 words. _____________________________________________________________________________________ I enjoyed this activity very much because it deals with a topic germane to the human condition – interpersonal communication. The evaluation and supervision of teaching is an activity that requires a great deal of knowledge, skill, talent, and ability. Supervisors must possess a wide range of these attributes and determine which particular technique to employ at any time given the circumstance that presents itself. Teachers’ skills, motivations, and developmental levels are quite diverse and so supervisors must adjust their approach accordingly. Time constraints force supervisors to quickly assess a teacher’s needs; supervisors must be adept at adapting approaches to accommodate individual teacher’s multifaceted levels of ability.
I also enjoyed learning how many schools have adopted a distributed leadership model. Many schools have principals who delegate power and authority to teachers in an effort to share responsibility and promote teacher empowerment. Some schools even extend these roles to students. I feel that this is an excellent way to promote democracy and egalitarianism in the school community. This model of distributed leadership is something new to my school. This past year we began three programs that give leadership roles to teachers- the Instructional Leadership team, the accreditation study team, and professional learning committees. We have a new principal who shares information regarding academic plan and budgetary decision making and seeks input from staff. She also encourages staff to investigate new leadership roles for teachers.
From my literature review I also learned that a few schools have moved beyond the distributed leadership model and established innovative collegial leadership models. In an effort to improve teacher quality these schools discovered that the key to improved teacher quality is a teacher centered curriculum. These schools began their quest to improve their supervisory approach with the shared vision that improving teacher quality will improve their ultimate school goal of improved student achievement. Many schools shared this mission, “Our teachers work hard to improve so that students improve.” The focus at the time was student achievement, a student centered curriculum. Danielson and Marzano conducted extensive research and developed very detailed evaluation instruments that fostered a collaborative culture. Supervisors and teachers now worked together to improve teacher quality. Some schools moved beyond this paradigm to focus on valuing and supporting teachers as their primary mission. They built upon the collaborative culture and ascended to a truly collegial culture. Teachers freely shared lesson plans, visited each other’s classrooms in order to learn from each other, rather than coach or mentor each other. Administration handed the reins over to teachers so that staff led their own meetings, self-assessed, re-evaluated, and continually set the bar higher.
This activity has ingrained the belief that improving teacher quality is based on the same tenets as improving student achievement- namely, empowering those actors to design their own curriculum, assessment, to facilitate self-assessment, and to provide guidance and constructive feedback. However, the most important element of these two endeavors is