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Tool: Direct assistance to improve instruction

The intent of direct assistance is to improve instruction. There are two critical requirements for success. First, the building leader assumes responsibility for the supervision. Second, the building leader separates the supervision from summative evaluation.

The leader must be accessible, arrange contact times, refer specialists to teachers and engage in implementing the clinical model of observation that includes pre- and post-conferencing by either becoming an active participant in the model or designating the mentor or other qualified faculty member to become the peer coach.

Whether you as the building leader provide the direct assistance by engaging in the clinical model or simply designate a qualified faculty member, use the following tool to guide the activity.

Purpose of this tool: To provide you with a framework for planning and implementing the clinical supervision model.

How to use this tool:  You and the beginning teacher should review the form together and collaborate on all responses. Your comments within each section can serve as your collective self-talk and as evidence of the level of success that the beginning teacher can realize. Place an “X” next to each step as you complete it. 

Guidelines for enacting clinical supervision

Step 1.  Pre-conference

Purpose of the observation:

Focus of the observation:
(Make sure the goal for the lesson is identified and discussed.)

Method and form of observation: (See Sample observation techniques.)

Time of observation:

Step 2:  Observation of classroom

Follow through with the understandings of the pre-conference. The method of observation must be determined before the observation. To build trust, the observer needs to follow through on agreed-upon observational technique. The data from the observation describing the events should be left with the classroom teacher for review and reflection. Keep in mind, it is the beginning teacher’s classroom—and the data is his or hers.

Step 3:  Interpreting the observation

Use the descriptions of events to analyze and interpret what occurred during the observation. (The goal for the lesson should be revisited). Ideally, the beginning teacher should make his/her analysis first. The observer (building leader or other designate) should add to the analysis; and, collectively, an interpretation should be made.

Step 4:  Make an instructional improvement plan.

The plan should be developed collaboratively on the basis of the interpretation of the observation. The plan should include objectives for the next observation and activities that will be carried out to accomplish the objectives. A list of available resources should be provided.

Step 5:  Review the plan.

The review may be brief, including questions such as “What has been of great value? Little value? What changes, additions and/or deletions do you propose? Collaborative critique has both the practical value of refining supervisory interactions and the symbolic value of confirming collegueship.

Reference: For a comprehensive look at the clinical model see Goldhammer, R., Anderson, R.H., & Krajewski, R.J. (1993). Clinical supervision: Special methods for the supervision of teachers (3rd Ed.). Fort Worth, TX: Harcourt, Brace, Javonovich.