Welcome to Clinical Ed. 2022-2023!

By Chris Combass | Revised January 2023

I recently had a conversation with a fellow educator about our “early years” in education and was asked the question, “How has your instructional philosophy changed over time?”  Without a chance to truly reflect, I found that to be a difficult question to answer on the spur of the moment.  The fact of the matter is that higher expectations, new state and federal mandates, overall professional growth, and many years of experience in the teaching profession have greatly impacted my educational philosophy and instructional pedagogy.  I began my teaching career as a developing professional just trying to stay afloat and overcome the belief that I was going to lecture for 50 minutes and that everyone was going to learn quietly without interruption.  It wasn’t long until I quickly realized that the attention span of teenagers was somewhat limited, and I found that in order to survive in this extremely rewarding profession, I needed to have a well-planned lesson supported by clear learning goals, transitions, and most importantly, bell to bell instruction.

Upon further reflection, I would say that I have definitely developed a better understanding over the years with regards to the tremendous impact that targeted feedback can have not only in the classroom but also among colleagues and school leaders.  We have all heard the saying that “You only know what you know.”  As a beginning teacher, I was the type of instructor who would place a simple phrase such as “Great Job” on a student’s paper.  What I didn’t realize at the time was that general comments such as “Great Job” lacked focus and simply didn’t provide the necessary blueprint for future improvement or success.  This same notion can be applied to our clinical education framework.

Throughout this course, school leaders will learn how to improve the professional practice of others and deliver more efficient support through the use of targeted feedback and the implementation of our clinical supervision sequence.  Participants will learn that in order to truly impact someone’s instructional practice, feedback must be based on specific areas of focus, build upon strengths, and be evidence-based.  Whether we are conducting a pre-conference, observation, data analysis, or post-conference, we should always have a clear purpose and a specific goal in mind.  We should also be non-judgmental, utilize effective communication skills, establish growth mindset, provide targeted feedback, and most importantly build those important relationships that can last a lifetime!  These are the keys to success not just as we work with our developing professionals but also as we work with our students.  Welcome to this 18-hour course, and I look forward to our journey together!          

Quote of the Month:

"If there is any one secret of success, it lies in the ability to get the other person's point of view and see things from their angle as well as your own."    Henry Ford