By: Geraldine C. Anacleto, PhD
Pagsanjan Sub-Office, SDO Laguna
Francisco Benitez Memorial School
As front liners in the education sector, we are essential as our products – the learners – are one of the main elements that would determine the progress of a nation. Human resources that are qualified can only be achieved if quality education is provided; thus, it is our responsibility to make sure that we as educators can enhance and improve our learning system.
There are three components in the educative process which are the learners, the teachers, and the subject matter. Out of these three, the teacher is the one who is the major component in the teaching-learning process – secondary to learners – as they can determine the success and/or failure of transforming the input into the most favorable output – to achieve the learning outcomes stated in our curriculum.
This is where instructional leadership skills come from our school heads, head teachers, and master teachers. These skills must be possessed by the people who are there to lead the change in education. First and foremost, they must be able to inspire action and optimism to work towards a common goal – that is to provide quality education to our learners.
Through instructional supervision, they would be able to assist and develop the teachers’ competence and improve the quality of the teaching and learning process and environment. As leaders, we need to understand that we are here in this position to focus on one of the elements of our jobs which is to make an impact on students’ learning. It is essential to comprehend that being able to supervise our teachers’ instructional strategies and techniques would help to improve the teaching-learning process in the school thus leading to achievement.
One way for us to improve on this is through classroom observation; however, this had been put in the spotlight this year due to concerning issues related to its drastic effect on teachers’ emotional and physical health. With this, the STAR Observation Technique is a good option. Unlike classroom observation where the teachers have to be observed from the start of their class up to the end, this supervisory tool just focuses on one teaching-learning activity in the classroom – imposing less stress on the teachers and becomes a useful tool to collect valid and reliable information inside the classroom.
Constant and timely feedback is needed after a STAR observation. Just like the previous classroom observation, this tool should also provide post-conference to the teacher concerned. The instructional leader should be able to provide a suggestion for improvement of the teachers’ teaching process no matter how good the observation is. Let us always give our teachers room for improvement. These suggestions should have clear, practical examples There is no perfect lesson. Suggestions for improvement should always contain clear and practical advice that the teacher would be able to apply to their class.
One final thought on this would also be to collaborate with the other instructional leaders in the school. As the old phrase says, two heads are better than one. One could focus on the teaching-learning process, and the other could focus on the mastery of the subject matter. Remember that there will be times we will miss some of the things that need attention due to some reasons. With someone to help and aid during the observation process, all critical areas would be properly covered. Collaboration is the key.
What was stated in the above paragraphs might seem so easy at a glance, but there are a lot of factors as instructional leaders we must consider. Providing professional, mental, and academic support to our teachers is crucial to make sure that we are not only giving them reasons to be nervous when we are around. This educative process is a diverse process that needs collaboration.
As leaders, we need to set an example. Being effective in our craft; by providing our teachers the right support; and inspiring them to constantly improve in their craft will directly affect the quality of education we are giving to our learners. Becoming an effective leader is to become part of the process of utilizing excellent communication skills to gather feedback, ask for ideas, and make informed decisions regarding the processes of our schools. Instructional supervision is an indispensable part of our job. Remember these words: guide, assist, share ideas, facilitate and create learning situations that would aid our teachers to become better in their craft.