Just as with all of my teachers, I am required every year to complete a professional growth plan. This plan highlights what I feel as a professional I will be working on over the the school year to better my practice and my skills as an educator.
This requirement is clearly outlined for every teacher in Alberta, under our professional development section, which states:
Teachers have a professional responsibility to keep abreast of new developments in education and to continue to develop their professional practice. In Alberta, every teacher employed by a school system must develop and implement an annual plan for professional growth that outlines the professional development activities the teacher intends to undertake in that year.
Now comes my responsibility, not only to ensure that these are completed, but also to check in with teachers to review and go through their growth plans. One method of doing this is through supervision walk-throughs. As a new administrator I found that I had no issues or concerns with respect to the walk-throughs. I fully understood what these were and what took place. I mean the wording itself is self-explanatory: just walk through a classroom, observe what is going on, maybe interact with some of the students to see what is going on and what they are learning. This I found no difficulty in doing, it was also great going up and seeing the students learning, answering questions and sometimes participating.
The supervision element was something that I was unfamiliar with and in some aspects could state that I found intimidating. I, as an administrator, was to supervise teachers and provide feed back with respect to the teacher qualification standards. I found this intimidating because I had never undertaken such a task before. As well, I found that going through all of the standards in one observation would be lengthy and I didn’t know where to start. However, as I have stated before, my colleagues in the division are extremely open and willing to assist. They not only answered all of my questions but also gave ideas as to what they had previously done and what they found most effective.
These conversations not only put some of my apprehensions aside, but also gave me a direction and some great ideas as to how to set up my own supervision in a way that would work both for me, but would also benefit my teachers and ensure conversations. In turn, I shared my ideas with some of my other colleagues that were new to the supervision process.
Below are the supervision templates that I created, there are nine in total, allowing and requiring me to visit each teachers classroom at least once a month. Your input and suggestions would be greatly appreciated.