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Knowing where a teacher stands developmentally will enable you as a supervisor to know how to approach a particular situation when needed. 

Directive Control


When to use it:

v     Teachers are functioning at a very low developmental level

v     Teachers lack the awareness, knowledge or insight to problem solve

v     Time is not of the essence and action needs to be taken quickly 


Role of the Supervisor at this Phase:

v     Supervisor is to identify the problem

v     Supervisor comes up with the solution

v     Supervisor is completely responsible for resolving the issue and the teachers are not.


Where to go from Direct Control?


The supervisor should beginning to shift from a directive control to a directive informational approach as soon as possible.  This can be done by:

v     Giving the teacher or group of teachers intensive support

v     Giving the teacher or group limited opportunities to make decisions and assume responsibility on their own through restricted choice. 


Direct Informational


When to use it:

v     Teachers are functioning at a fairly low developmental level

v     Teachers are at a loss, confused or are inexperienced about an issue

v     The teacher feels and believes that the supervisor is credible and will accept the advice and suggestions given

v     When time is short and quick actions need to be taken


Role of the Supervisor:

v     Identify the goal with the teacher

v     Identify the teacher’s point of view of the situation

v     Mentally come up with solutions meanwhile have the teacher come up with solutions

v     Frame a final choice for the teacher with a detailed action plan to be taken

v     Reinforce by suggesting a follow up plan


Where to go from Direct Informational?


In direct informational the supervisor still assumes the primary decision making solution but the teacher is given some choice.  This process lends itself to falling into the collaborative approach which is where the teacher and supervisor share the decision making responsibility equally. This can be done by:

v     The supervisor suggests an improvement goal

v     The supervisor asks the teacher to suggest one or two activities for moving towards this goal

v     Suggesting a detailed action plan incorporating some of the teachers





Collaborative Behavior


When to use it:

v     When teachers are functioning at a moderate developmental level

v     When the Supervisor and teacher are approximately at the same degree of expertise on the issue

v     The Supervisor and the teacher will be both involved in carrying out the solution

v     The Supervisor and the teacher are going to work on the solution together


Role of the Supervisor:

v     Listen to what the teacher’s perception is of the situation

v     Verify the teacher’s perception

v     See to it that the teacher understands the supervisor’s perception

v     Exchange suggestions for options for solving the problem

v     Accept conflict and reassure the teacher that disagreement is acceptable

v     Find an acceptable solution

v     Summarize the plan of action


Where to go from Collaborative Behaviors?

The supervisor attempts to gradually go from collaborative to nondirective interpersonal behaviors.  As the teacher or group becomes more motivated and experienced with working in a collaborative way the supervisor is able to hand over more of the decision making responsibilities. 


Nondirective Behaviors


When to use it:

v     The teacher knows best that instructional changes need to be make

v     The teacher has the ability to think and act on their own


Role of the Supervisor:

v     Assist the teacher in the process of thinking through their actions

v     Keeps the teacher’s thinking focused on observation, problem identification, interpretations, and problem solving

v     All feedback given is intended to extend the teacher’s thinking