Supervisory Behaviors in Education

Subject: Education
Pages: 6
Words: 1690
Reading time:
6 min
Study level: PhD


Supervisory behaviors can be defined as creative and dynamic roles involved in organizational leadership focused on improving teaching and learning situations. Such behaviors are normally influenced by the settings of the organization and further determined by the relationship of the formal and informal organization. Role theory explains in details the kind of influence roles exert on individual functioning. Research reveals that individuals filling a role usually tailor their actions to fit various personality needs while at the same time fulfill others expectations. Such needs in line with expectations are considered vital in the fulfillment of various positions occupied. Clarifications on the role expectations for supervisory positions are necessary. Common sense suggests that leadership roles within organizations have significant influence on organization’s efficiency and attainment of its goals. Some of the positions considered to represent supervisory roles include administrators, managers as well as supervisors within various sectors (Glickman et al., 2009).

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Several definitions have been provided in an attempt to express the functions of supervision based on sampled behaviors, skills as well as competencies. Several categories of supervisory behavior have been derived from concrete observations within group and individual meetings organized in institutions. Behaviors can be termed as purposeful whenever they contribute towards crucial decisions in conferences. Such categories of supervisory behavior include listening, encouraging, problem solving skills, negotiation, and reflection amongst others. These categories of supervisory behaviors move all parties to be involved towards making concrete decisions. Different roles are linked to specific responsibilities. For instance, teachers are required to bore much responsibility in ensuring that decisions are reached. In the same line, some still exert pressure on supervisors concerning decision making and still a percentage still view shared responsibility as possible means of making decisions (Glickman et al., 2009).

Discussion on control behaviors used by supervisors

Scale of control or power is usually necessary for the purposes of moderating overall behaviors. The use of control parameters such as listening, clarification, encouragement as well as reflection determines whoever controls situations. Supervisors normally take the role of being an active prober with the responsibility of setting appropriate platform for teachers to make amicable decisions. Actual decisions take non-directive interpersonal approach whereby they are highly controlled by teachers rather than supervisors. In some instances, decisions are shared by all especially when supervisors participates in problem solving despite understanding teacher’s presentations and overall contributions to problems at hand. Such cases usually involve proposals from all parties which ultimately help in extensive negotiations on appropriate course of actions to be undertaken. This scenario is referred to as collaborative interpersonal approach. However, in some instances supervisors serve as potential sources of information providing teachers with alternative choices from which problems could be solved. Supervisors can at times take control of decisions by giving directives to teachers hence making situations to have directive control of interpersonal approach (Glickman et al., 2009).

Understanding leadership from the perspective of control behaviors is important since it assists in influencing followers. This also makes it possible to commit to the vision and mission of the learning within organizations. Such behaviors as listening, ability to reflect and standardize issues tend to answer the question on effective strategies and best practices applied in performances (Kellerman, 2010).

Strong supervisory skills are based on conscientiousness which ensures that one takes responsibility of various decisions ensuring completion of tasks. Kind of leadership and supervisory positioning within an organization determines to a greater extent level of responses from subordinates. Reflective actions done on individual performances enable appropriate adjustment on previously made decisions (Diaz, 2005). General organization performances are based upon individual conscientiousness which is used as basic determinant of effective leadership. Ability to reflect on various mistakes and learning from them determines the degree of leadership development. From the hand book of school improvement, the aspect of constant thinking and ability to plan assist in better planning and balancing on professional and personal lives. However, there is lack of high degree of organization from my management skills. Such personal and professional qualities differentiate leaders from non-leaders (Ellis and Harper, 1997).

Summary of Case Studies in chapter 7 in supervision and institutional leadership

The cases outlined in this chapter provide in-depth understanding on developmental supervision. In the first case study, there is detailed discussion on Gerald Watson’s teaching methods which raises the concern from different quotas. The teacher’s level of development and expertise seem very low since he used the same pattern in conducting all his lessons. Gerald was never involved in improving his instructional routine. There was always not enough time for him to listen to students. He decided to undertake non-directive interpersonal approach to teaching. This is whereby Gerald decided to ignore teaching instructions form the manual provided hence using his personally designed methods in teaching. This was because he neither understood nor used the hands-on science program used as a standard by middle school science team. This was as a result of him not attending frequent meetings organized by science team. However, his supervisor Martha recommended Gerald for formal training program for the purposes of developing his teaching and relational skills. Jim provided supervisory services at the level of collaborative interpersonal approach (Beukes and Smith, 2008).

The second case study focuses on Janice’s inability to apply effectively her management skills. Janice had classroom management problems which contributed towards under-utilization of problems. This was as a result of lack of cognitive training in classroom management. At the same time, Janice had problems in building relationships with students. The off-task behaviors noted could have been corrected by the supervisor based on Interpersonal approach where supervisors take control of decisions by giving directives to teachers. By assisting Janice develop her rules as well as procedures for controlling classroom chaos would not have been good idea. The problem was much more within than without, it was an issue of controlling teacher’s temperament. Janice did not take ample time to reflect on her career making it difficult to put in place some adjustments.

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Mike applied the collaborative method so efficiently by involving students in open discussions. This helped in building strong relationship between teacher, supervisor and students. Allowing students to play participatory role improves listening skills as well as contributing towards learning through emerging ideas from the students. Such method is referred to as collaborative interpersonal approach and works well within teaching environment. However, supervisor George disagrees with such method hence directing the teacher on various options to apply. The supervisor goes ahead to standardize the methods by conveying expectations making the supervisor to have high control over the issues. This is referred to as directive informational interpersonal approach. The supervisor in this case directed the teacher on what was expected, taking responsibility for the decision.

In the fourth case, the teacher called for a discussion meeting with the supervisor for the purposes of sharing her ideas on the suggested program. In this case, the supervisor listens, clarifies and encourages the teacher to speak and finally reflects through verification of the teacher’s perceptions making the teacher to be in full control of the decision. The supervisor played an active prober role by allowing the teacher to make her own decision. The approach used could be referred to as nondirective interpersonal approach. Where there is a big teacher and small supervisor. At the same time Stella allowed for Collaborative decisions from Maria and other teachers. This case study reveals importance of cultivating healthy relationship with teachers as a supervisor. Such behaviors demand healthy reasoning from the supervisors hence appropriate in the prevention of self-defeating emotions and thinking. When supervisors resort to reinforcing and actualizing main values there is existence of interest towards decisions from teachers. Such behavioral responses enable easy identification and provision of appropriate assistance to teachers with preferable traits.

Reflect on your own experience and make assessment of your current supervisory strengths and weaknesses and where you can improve.

My experience on leadership focuses on the various categories of behaviours based on the level of self-esteem. Such leadership trait is considered essential to those with low levels of neuroticism. In my case, there is less neurotic experiences involved since most of my leadership performances is based on interest as well as adequate preparation through training. Quality leadership as well as effective supervisory role cannot be associated with those having high level neuroticism which requires high leadership skills in order to overcome (Ellis and Harper, 1997).

Current weaknesses emerge from my interpersonal sensitivity which makes it easier for a leader to ignore various situations leading to making inconsiderate decisions towards events. It is of profound importance to possess agreeable personality which is basically recognized through a tactful and sensitive leadership attributes as well as altruism which makes leaders more agreeable. Collaborative personality adds to my strength since there is that capability of identifying with groups of teachers. Negative collaborative behaviour tends to drive people towards creation of certain group affiliations which presents negative leadership and supervisory trait (Ellis and Harper, 1997).


Ability to adjust to different organizational environments determines the level of relationship between supervisors and teachers. Most organizations focus on the factors that manipulate performance and patterns of supervisory roles amongst different individuals within the same environment. The trends notable amongst supervisors, teachers and principles from institutions have been observed. Evidently, there exist fundamental approaches often applied in the analysis of these trends. The personal or individual characteristics or traits have been analyzed. Apart from this, the cognitive and non-cognitive variables amongst supervisors are also been analyzed comprehensively. As a result of such studies, various explanations can be attributed to the low instances of effective leadership roles within institutions.

Basically, the cognitive variables refer to aspects that may include the high supervisory and leadership roles based on natural intelligence. On the other hand, the non-cognitive variables embody the elements comprising social integration, motivation, and general supervisor’s self-concept. In a more empirical way, cognitive variables may be defined as the variables that measure intellectual competencies. This occurs through ranking or provision of appropriate measurement scale. On the other hand, non-cognitive variables may refer to emotional, psychosocial constructs, skewed in nature, which express the feeling, opinions, and attitudes.

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Beukes, C.,&Smith, D.(2008).Leadership the EPL Way. Johannesburg, SA: Minuteman Press.

Diaz, J. (2005). Why Self Awareness is so important. PDF file. Web.

Ellis, A., & Harper, R. A. (1997).A Guide to Rational Living. Hollywood, CA: Wilshire.

Glickman, C., Gordon, S., & Ross-Gordon, J. (2009). Supervision and instructional leadership: A developmental approach. Boston: Allyn & Bacon.

Kellerman, B. (2010). Leadership: Essential selections on power, authority and Influence. New York; McGraw-Hill