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Supervisor's role

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Supervisor's role

  1. 1. JAMES E. RUTROUGH Associate Profesior, Department of Education, Virginia Polytechnic In.tihit., Bladnbwg PUBLIC school supervision sions in terms of supplementary leadergenerally is viewed as a staff function. ship for more penetrative developmentThe role of the public school supervisor in this particular area.1 This specializedhas been defined in various ways. Dur leadership may be provided throughing the 1920s his role was much like certain administrative and supervisorythat of the supervisor in industry. He personnel attached to the staff of thewas viewed as an autocratic superior superintendent of schools.who was charged with seeing that Although the personnel activity mayteachers would "stay in line." Concepts be the major responsibility of the direcof the role of the educational supervisor tor of personnel, the supervisor andhave changed over the years as new other school employees have importanteducational practices have been intro roles to play in this area of school adduced into the schools. ministration. The supervisor is in a key Perhaps the basic factor that has af position to make valuable contributionsfected the emerging role of the public in enhancing the success of personnelschool supervisor has been the rising administration for the following realevel of professional preparation of sons:teachers. Today, the supervisor is 1. He is a professionally trained employee viewed as being a friend, a co-worker, of the local school board.a consultant and advisor to teachers. 2. He is a professional charged with deHe works with teachers as a team mem veloping promising professional relationber in providing the best possible pro ships with the teachers with whom he works.gram of education for boys and girls. 3. He is in a position to influence directly If the educational program is the fo the self-confidence, morale, and effectiveness cal point of school personnel adminis of teachers. tration, the superintendent of schools 4. In the modern sense, his role is seen must assume definite responsibility for 1 James A. Van Zwoll. S supplying a certain degree of leadership ew York: Appleton-Cen- himself as well as making staff provi- tury-Crofta, 1964. Chapter I.December 1967 249
  2. 2. as that of being a consultant, a helper, a appropriately carried out with thefriend and mutual confidant of the teacher.supervisor as a cooperating team mem 5. He is in the position of contributingber. The very nature of supervision into the objective that all school employees the modern school system lends itselfhave the competencies needed for their to the support of personnel administrarespective jobs. tion in the following areas: 6. His work involves providing instructional leadership to enhance quality educa 1. O eginning teachers andtion in the school system. those new to the school system may find their adaptation and adjustment to The supervisor appears to be in a the new situation eased as a result ofposition to contribute to many of the the work of the supervisor. Many prefunctions of school personnel adminis liminary and presession orientationtration. programs are inadequate at best. ThusEmerging Role personnel administration, and theof the Supervisor school system in general, have an ob ligation to conduct a continuing pro Personnel administration is a rela gram of orientation as the school yeartively new development in the field of proceeds. The supervisor is called uponschool administration. As school dis to play a major role in this continuingtricts become larger and more complex, program.this phase of school administration Among the activities that may be inbecomes more important and more spe cluded in such a program, to which thecialized. In recent years personnel ad supervisor can make excellent conministration, which was once the exclu tributions, are the following:sive job of the superintendent of schools,has become a partnership arrangement. 1. Arranging for new teachers to observe demonstrations and teaching by experiencedThe assistance of supervisors, princi teachers.pals, committees of teachers, and others 2. Organizing workshops for beginningis needed to cope with the personnel ac teachers and for new teachers that will protivity in the modern school complex. vide for professional growth and the ex The literature pertaining directly to change of ideas.the role of the supervisor in personnel 3. Tours of the school system and theadministration is extremely limited. school community to enable new teachersApparently, few studies have been com to learn more about the community, itspleted pertaining to the supervisors school system, its goals, customs, and assets.role in this area. It seems evident, from 4. Arranging social events to providea review of recent literature pertaining opportunities for new teachers to get acto the role of the supervisor in the quainted with colleagues, and to providemodern school organization, that many for an element of recreation. This is alsoopportunities exist for the supervisor to helpful in gaining the good will and cooperamake worthwhile contributions to the tion of the new employees.personnel administration field. It ap 5. Helping new teachers to become familpears that many of the functions of iar with the job, and with its problems.personnel administration may be moreDecember 1967 251
  3. 3. ) tive of an efficiently operating school Much of the supervisory program is system. According to Lucio and Mcconcerned with continuing orientation Neil,9 the supervisor is generally reactivities for both new and experienced sponsible for six kinds of duties withpersonnel.2 reference to in-service education: As a specialist in human relations, the 1. He plans with individuals and groupssupervisor can smooth the path of to develop policies and programs in varioushuman interaction, ease communica academic fields.tion, evoke personal devotion, and allay 2. He makes decisions, coordinates theanxiety on the part of new teachers. 3 work of others, and gives directions.Thus, valuable contributions are made 3. Through conferences and consultations,in enhancing the job performance of he seeks to improve the quality of instrucnew employees, and in improving in tion.struction. The supervisor is a logical 4. He participates directly in the formusupplementary agent in exercising lation of objectives, selection of school exleadership in the development of a periences, preparation of teaching guides,stimulating atmosphere free from ten and in the selection of instructional aids.sion for the new employee.4 This is an 5. He gives and arranges for classroomimportant contribution that relates to demonstrations of teaching methods, useseveral of the principles of personnel of aids, and other direct help to classroomadministration. teachers. ithin the 6. Through systematic surveys, experischool system all supervision of per ments, and studies, he explores current con ditions and recommends changes in pracsonnel has the function of providing in- tice.service education that relates to theobjective of promoting and maintain 3. M he most important singleing competency.5 This is a basic objec factor in getting the best that a schooltive of school personnel administration. employee has to offer is how he feelsIn teaching, it is imperative that the about his job, his associates on the job,teacher keep up with the changes in his and the school system in which he isteaching field. Regardless of how com employed.7 This is one of the principlespetent beginning teachers may be, the of personnel administration that relatesleadership of the school system has a to morale. Actually all personnel in theresponsibility to provide opportunities school system play roles in facilitatingfor these teachers to continue their this process. Morale cannot be createdprofessional growth. This is an objec- or guaranteed, but the climate which Van Zwoll, o p. 143-49 and 239. favors its development can be created. William H. Lueio and John D. McNeil. Greer" states that one of the important elements in supervision is the develop ew York: McGraw-Hill Book Com ment of a stimulating atmosphere freepany, Inc., 1962. Edith S. Greer. "Human Relations in Su from tension. Therefore, the supervisorpervision." E 2: 203-206; December " Lucio and McNeil, o . 26.1961. Van Zwoll, o . 172. Van Zwoll, o . 87. Greer, o . 204.254 Educational Leadership
  4. 4. occupies a strategic position, as the 5. Motivating members of the organizafriend and confidant of, as well as con tion to accept responsibility for self-desultant to the teacher, in helping to velopment and creativity.create a climate conducive to develop 6. Dealing with personnel maladjustment,ment of good morale. which is expressed in such forms as aggres From a personnel administration sion or regression; thus minimizing the tenpoint of view, it appears that the de sion and strain within the school system.velopment and maintenance of morale 7. Motivating the teacher to establishmight be looked upon as developing and appropriate working relationships with his colleagues, and to enhance his personal andmaintaining organizational health.9 In professional development.reality this means taking action to im 8. Recommending changes in work assignprove school employee-job relation ments, dealing with unsatisfactory superior-ships. The supervisor can make excel subordinate relationships, and providinglent use of his relationships with assistance to potential retirants.teachers in bringing to the attention ofthe personnel division those problems, In summary, personnel administraissues, grievances, and injustices that tion must increasingly deal with theneed to be corrected to improve the complexities of human nature and itsworking situation. implications for organizational be havior. The supervisor has an impor 4. M tant role to play in assisting the per mplicit in the concept of per sonnel division in coordinating thesonal adjustment is the fact that the multiplicity of activities involved in itssatisfaction of individual needs is a con broad field of operation. The majortinuous process. Supervision contributes concerns of the personnel division arematerially to the total administrative also areas of interest to the supervisor.effort to satisfy both organization ex Supervision shares with personnel adpectations and the physical and psycho ministration the basic objectives oflogical needs of personnel. The super doing whatever is necessary to makevisor can contribute to the achievement sure that all who work within theof these ends by: 10 school system have the competencies, 1. Providing assistance to members of the the will, and the working conditionsschool organization in solving problems for providing the best program.with which they are constantly confronted. It appears that the supervisor can 2. Helping the organization to decide make his most effective contributions towhether the individual is capable of fulfill the personnel activity in the areas ofing role expectations. orientation, in-service education, mo 3. Helping the organization to clarify the rale, and personal adjustment and moposition requirements and the qualificationsnecessary for successful performance. tivation. Contrary to the views held by some authorities in the field of 4. Assisting in the selection process. personnel administration, supervision William B. Castetter. A is a dynamic, growing process that is ew York: TheMacmillan Company, 1962. p. 80. occupying an increasingly important "Castetter, o p. 65-66. role in public education. <ǤDecember 1967
  5. 5. Copyright © 1967 by the Association for Supervision and CurriculumDevelopment. All rights reserved.