I. Middle school teacher Al Done is a Latino, twenty year veteran teacher who was recently moved from P.E to Language Arts. He is often overheard by his supervisor and other teachers yelling at his students as he tries to gain control of his class. Every time he yells at his students to "get quiet" or to "go to your seats," their behavior becomes more problematic Even to those in other classrooms or walking down the hall, it is apparent that Al frequently loses control over his classes. As this happens, he gets louder and louder. He begins to use abusive language, telling students to, "shut up," or to "quit acting like morons." Teachers and parents have complained. During a recent classroom observation, his supervisor observed that Al gave contradictory and confusing directions when he tried to start a new learning activity. Colleagues tell you that they have tried to help him, but he replies, "Those students are the ones who need to change."
1. What supervisory approach would you use to deal with Al?
2. Provide 3 reasons you chose this approach.
3. List three issues that can be problematic when you use this supervisory approach. 4. Are there cultural or diversity issues that need to be addressed to successfully deal with Al?
1. According to chapter eight of our textbook (Glickman et al., 2010, p.138), the best supervisory approach that can be used with Mr. Done is a ‘Directive Control Continuum’. 2. There are several reasons why this is the best possible approach with Al: • This supervisor has been a personal witness to the lack of control and directive that the teacher has with his class, and needs thorough guidance at this point. Glickman states in our textbook (2010, p. 143) that this approach is very useful when teachers are functioning at very low developmental levels. • This teacher is not familiar with classroom behavior control and classroom management; therefore he needs direct and concrete instructions on how to conduct his classes. The textbook states that this approach would work when ‘teachers do not have awareness, knowledge, or inclination to act…’ (Glickman et al., 2010, p.143).
• Mr. Done is not showing mastery of the Language Arts curriculum, making it noticeable when giving contradictory instructions to his students. His students are suffering the consequences of an administrative change that directly impacts their quality of education. This type of behavior control will function best as this teacher probably faced this change as part of an emergency, not a well-planned movement (Glickman et al., 2010, p.143).
3. Three issues that can be problematic with this approach are: • Problems with being forthright (Glickman et al., 2010, p.142). The teacher may very well feel offended to be asked about the situation, requesting a conference to discuss the problem, and given solutions. Since the teacher believes that ‘the 3 students are the ones who need to change’, it may bring in an issue of tenure and possible anger and emotional conflict.
• Problems with the source of authority (Glickman et al., 2010, p.142). Al Done is a veteran teacher who has possible strong ties with the union that represents him. When teachers are asked or given a specific resolution to their issue, this could bring in a clash of authority. Since the principal is not tenured and not as experienced as this teacher, it is possible that there will be problems associated with him not wanting to recognize the authority of his supervisor. • The third problem has to do with the amount of time to solve the issue (Glickman et al., 2010, p.142). Because of the possible low grades, lack of instruction and direction during class, and overall behavioral problems with Mr. Done’s class, his students have probably spoken to their parents about this situation. Those caring parents would have spoken up about this situation with the principal. It is likely that the principal would conduct an investigation and take appropriate measures to find a solution, but when parents raise their voices, it is important that validity is given to them, especially when they are right. The principal is then pressured into making drastic and rapid decisions that may cause any of the two issues above mentioned, or bring in a positive outcome.
4. Teacher Al Done is a veteran teacher. We must first consider that he has been teaching P.E. for a long time and has recently been moved to another subject. The difference between the first and new subject curricula is like comparing night and day. One of the aspects of teaching P.E. is that the teacher becomes more vocal and the students are usually more active, hopefully completing activities conducive to improving their health and physique.
Glickman, C., Gordon, S., & Ross-Gordon, J. (2010). Supervision and instructional leadership. Boston: MA.
II. Social Studies teacher Fred Mertz has requested a conference with his principal. Fred is not satisfied with the quality of the discussions in his current events class. He wants to foster students' higher-level thinking and open dialogue concerning important social and political issues. Upon reflection, Fred confides that he feels the major problem may well be his teaching approach. "I ask too many simple recall questions, and generally only a few of the students answer." "I haven't done enough to stimulate students to participate". 1. What supervisory approach would you adopt to work with Fred? 2. What would you suggest Fred change in his lesson approach? 3. What criteria would you select to help Fred measure success? 4. Are there cultural or diversity issues that need to be addressed to successfully deal with this situation?4
1. According to chapter eleven of our textbook (Glickman et al., 2010, p.184-185), the best supervisory approach that can be used with Mr. Done is a ‘Nondirective/Teacher Collaboration’.
2. Due to the nature of this approach, any suggestions that a supervisor gives Fred should not influence in a manner that it takes away from his own teaching style. While giving him ideas and pairing him up with other teachers who may have different approaches, he should understand that it is finally up to him to adapt changes to his style but not to adopt someone else’s style. Glickman describes this approach as one where the teachers can collaborate and figure out the best course of action or solution. It is also possible that the supervisor has very little experience or knowledge on this subject (Glickman et al., 2010, p.180-181).
3. There are several tools that may assist Fred to measure success. On chapter sixteen of our textbook, there is a list of several tools of direct (Glickman et al., 2010, p.298-299). One of the tools that may specifically help him is to attend a demonstration teaching with a peer or guest. This tool may effectively give him a different approach or enrich his current approach to make it more effective and engage students to participate. Another tool that may benefit him would be to receive assistance with resources and materials. Because teachers have access to publisher-created materials that complement their textbooks and curriculum, it may greatly benefit his classes. 4. This is a school located in a low-socioeconomic area. The teacher should help students connect the concepts that they are learning in the class with those that they go through at home. This is known as an assets-based approach (Glickman et al., 2010, p.443). When he challenges students and makes the real-life connection, he will probably receive a higher amount of participating students in his classes.
A small group of elementary teachers has requested a professional development program on making better use of open-ended questions. They are particularly concerned that non-majority culture students do not fully participate in the class discussions these questions stimulate. The teachers are at moderate levels of development, expertise, and commitment and are at the integration stage.
1. Your text talks about professional development for adults. In the program you help these teachers develop, how would these textbook presented concepts influence the in service training you propose to develop?
2. Research on successful professional development programs shows they have common characteristics. Which of these "common characteristics" would you include to maximize the chances for success in your proposed professional development program? 3. How would you incorporate the expressed need to better communicate with students from other cultures into the training?
4. Are there cultural or diversity issues that need to be addressed to successfully deal with this situation?5
1. At the integration stage, the teachers learn to adapt general learning to specific instructions (Glickman et al., 2010, p.343). As a supervisor, I would ask teachers to reflect upon the experiences they bring from their classrooms and previous settings, and try to adapt these changes to our new environment. This would be a in-service that could be created following two styles: ‘collegial support groups’ and ‘teacher as writer’ (Glickman et al., 2010, p.338). Both of these programs require reflection and support from peers with similar interests.
2. Research on successful professional development programs has shown an emphasis on involvement, long-term planning, problem-solving meetings, released time, experimentation and risk-taking, administrative support, small-group activities, peer feedback, demonstration and trials, coaching, and leader participation in activities (Glickman et al., 2010, p.350). In order to maximize success in my program, I would include involvement, problem-solving meetings, administrative support, peer feedback, and coaching. The other common characteristics will more than likely be added in at the appropriate time. Those characteristics bring together our teachers, and it is them who can bring a successful outcome to their classrooms.
3. In order to better communicate with students of other cultures, it is necessary for teachers to undergo a series of brown bag sessions on culture bumps. Because the prompt does not specific which cultures are involved, it would be necessary to study more these cultures through the students and their families. Some cultures function at a memorization level while others have learned to just listen to the teacher and be quiet. This would have to be an effort from the teachers to become the learners at some point.