Urban Institute for Teacher Education
The supervisors in the Urban Institute for Teacher Education's licensure programs serve Teacher Candidates in the Early Childhood, Elementary, and Secondary programs.
Role of Supervision
In order to systematically link the reciprocal relationship between theory and practice, Teacher Candidate supervision provided through the University of Utah facilitates the process of making theory-practice linkages explicit. Those in the supervisory position facilitate the process of learning to teach in a manner that challenges preservice teachers to critically reflect on their teaching practice in order to make connections between teaching and broader social and educational research-based issues.
Teacher Candidates often have a difficult time connecting university learning with the challenges that they face in the classroom. Supervision facilitates linking theory and practice by helping Teacher Candidates learn how to implement what they know and by supporting them in incorporating innovative methods into practice. Supervision also helps Teacher Candidates learn to reflect critically on their own practice and to make connections between practice and broader educational and social issues.
University Cohort Leader/Supervisor Role
At present, University Cohort Leaders carry the bulk of instructional supervision. The duties of University Field Cohort Leader/Supervisor include the following:
- Conducting formal and informal observations of Teacher Candidates.
- Conferencing regularly with Teacher Candidates to provide guidance, feedback, and assistance.
- Communicating regularly with Site Teacher Educators.
- Completing mid-term and final evaluations of Teacher Candidates.
Written comments from each observation should be given to the Teacher Candidate as soon as possible, and may be provided to the Site Teacher Educator as needed to insure continuity and cohesion. Copies of observation notes should be kept on file by the supervisor. Verbal feedback provided to Teacher Candidates should be documented and field by the Supervisor.
Distinctions between formal and informal supervisory visits as follows:
Formal visits include of a pre-contact with the Candidate, an observation of a full lesson (the duration of which will vary according to grade level and content), and a post-observation conference. It is expected that the average length of time for a formal supervisory contact would be between 90 minutes and two hours.
Informal visits are shorter and may involve lesson plan consultation, short "drop in" observations with written feedback, talking with the candidates about their progress, or other activities. It is expected that the average length of informal visits would be between 30 and 45 minutes.
During the 12 weeks of student teaching, Cohort Leaders should conduct at least two formal and supervisory visits with each individual Teacher Candidate. This level of supervision and connection to our students is the minimum needed to achieve our program goals.