I believe teaching is fundamental to a democratic society, and teachers play a key role in society. Teachers pass knowledge, skills, and rules of society onto the next generation. Teachers effectively accomplish this when they invest in teaching students, and not teaching content. Students learn how to learn in part by watching teachers model learning.
The classroom of an effective teacher embodies the mission of the school and works with all stake holders to meet school-wide goals. The effective teacher models how to make S.M.A.R.T. goals by creating and monitoring his or her teaching. Effective teachers do not become stale, but are in a constant state of improvement.
Progress of students is monitored many people; the teacher, the student, parents, and administration (each to a varying degree). With data from S.M.A.R.T. goals, evidence of weaknesses are vigilantly addressed with students and other support personnel (parents, counselors).
A supervisor's main focus should be to work with teachers to improve student learning. To effectively accomplish this, supervisors should work under an experimentalism philosophy; creating and testing hypothesizes to improve individual skills of teachers. Supervisors should also work toward more autonomous supervision of teachers (Existentialism) but still maintain interactions with teachers on their progress. By working with teachers to improve student learning, the school will ultimately improve.
It is vital to experimentalism that teachers and supervisors have a positive working relationship. Supervisors need skills to motivate, communicate, mediate, and help teachers learn how to experiment with different strategies and teaching skills. These skills coupled with values of success, excellence, and a will to help everyone, will begin to create the atmosphere for school improvement.
The ultimate purpose of supervision should be to improve students learning by giving teachers valuable skills.
I believe all students can succeed regardless of race, economic status, or culture. However, my personal cultural competency is very narrow, and I must work as a supervisor to overcome my lack of experiences to help everyone succeed. Knowing I have limited experiences with other cultures, and with knowledge of my implicit exercises from Harvard, I must constantly review and determine how my cultural beliefs affect the school. Working with students, parents, and community members in an open dialog surrounding the cultural issues will be difficult, but essential. Using subgroup data from discipline and student learning I, as a supervisor, must make sure we are as culturally neutral as possible. Cultural competency will be the most difficult part of my leadership as I have many things to learn.
The relationship between supervisors and teachers is an example of the relationship that should exist between teachers and students. Often the data that will need experimentation will include aspects of cultural identity. Each should be symbiotic relationships that constantly experiment looking for the best methods to increase student learning.