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Onward to Instructional LeaderSHIFT

“Gone are the days of inspectorial supervision where teachers are seemingly policed against a set of standards during classroom observation. Evaluation does not warrant quality education. To be relevant now is to be supportive. Instructional leadership is all about providing support to teachers in their professional development,” said OIC-SDS Dr. Alejandro G. Ibañez to the 73 participants in the two-day seminar held on 18-19 June 2019 at the SDO Conference Hall.

Members of the audience comprised of the master teachers, department heads, school heads, and education program supervisors. They gathered together with the intention to strike relevance to the salient features of the Results-based Performance Management System (RPMS) integrating the lessons learned from the first year of its implementation aligned with the Philippine Professional Standards for Teachers (PPST). Likewise, it highlighted their respective roles in the RPMS cycle especially in the classroom observation to clarify the protocols involved during the pre-conference, actual classroom observation, and post conference, with the end view to elevate the understanding of raters in the rubrics of PPST reflected in the RPMS tools as explained by the CID Chief herself, Dr. Helen G. Padilla, and Filipino supervisor, Mrs. Eulafel C. Pascual.

Moreover, simulations took place in order to apply the understanding of raters in their roles across the three phases of classroom observation. All participants were made to observe a Grade 10 English class of a proficient teacher as provided in the RPMS resource package. During the processing, some master teachers commented on the difference that the new protocols bring.

Ms. Belinda Guevarra of Pinaglabanan ES remarked, “It helped that we were only using the blank observation notes during the observation. It made me focus more on the teacher and what she was doing in class unlike before that we had to look back and forth at the lesson plan and the RPMS tool to ensure that the teacher was satisfying the performance indicators.”

This was seconded by another teacher from Kabayanan ES. Ms. Kate P. Enrizuez added, “There was less distraction on our part. The challenge was just to be skillful in our note-taking so as to give justice to the preparation made by the teacher.”

Similarly, the speakers led by English supervisor, Ms. Marnelli B. Tolentino, reiterated the importance to study the rubrics well as early as in the pre-conference in order to calibrate the expectations on the teachers and the lens by which judgments can be made on their performance. LRMS supervisor Orlando D. Claor even recounted the importance of harvesting data from the electronic Self-Assessment Tool (E-SAT) found in the resource package with the end goal to help teachers get to the target level of proficiency through technical assistance.

Meanwhile, Ms. Loida F. Abedania of Pinaglabanan ES, served as a demonstration teacher for Grade One Math to simulate the dynamics between the raters and the ratee. The raters were composed of Mr. Dennis M. Bacle, her school head, and two master teachers, Ms. Magdalena S. Rosopa and Ms. Jeanette Javier along with the two supervisors, Ms. Helen S. Acedo and Ms. Eulafel C. Pascual, as process observers.

During the deliberation, the raters justified the rating they each gave until they reached a consensus for every objective in the tool. They used their observation notes and related them in light of the teaching standards. Supervisors maintained their position as process observers with the goal to gather relevant details for their technical assistance and opportunities to share division-led initiatives or directives from the region or central office.

Furthermore, school heads gave their insights as to the efforts they put in to the development plan of their teachers. It was mentioned that activities sometimes would overlap despite careful planning which often times could derail the implementation of school-initiated activities. However, the speakers explained the systems and processes in the Department that can affect school operation like the downloading of funds and the alignment of priority programs from the central, regional, and division level.

Interestingly, the discourse alerted everyone on the focus of instructional supervision as the premise of classroom observations which consequently places the learners at the core of all programs, projects, and activities to be implemented in the field. Ms. Tolentino earnestly called upon the agency of all leaders in the audience. She said, “The issues and concerns may be overwhelming but we can choose to dwell on things within our control in search of possibilities. Looking at things with a lens of positivity does not mean ignoring all the negativity but choosing to work on what is available and bringing hope alive in the midst of our struggles. We can be creative only after we learn the basic, the standards, and then, we align our focus on one vision and mission of the Department.”

In closing, the participants took the same test in the pre-test to determine how much they have learned for the past two days. Future plans were shared like the review of supplementary learning materials and the budget of work uploaded in the official division website along with the proposal of a special date with the division officials in the school for a simultaneous conduct of technical assistance. The day ended with a pledge of commitment to stay strong and united in ensuring an enabling and supportive environment to happen with teachers at the forefront of service.

Article written by:

Marnelli B. Tolentino (Education Program Supervisor - English)

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