Non-Directive Behaviors

Chapter 10

Non-Directive Supervision

This is the presumption that the classroom teacher knows what instructional adjustments are necessary in a classroom when issues arise and can make decisions on their own.


The supervisor's role is to help the teacher think through the best possible solutions.

Supervisor Behaviors Steps

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chapter 10 on Non-directive Behaviors
  1. Listen-Focus on what the teacher is telling you about the situation.
  2. Reflecting-Restate what you have hear the teacher tell you and be careful to not give your opinion.
  3. Clarifying-Help the teacher to view the issue in multiple ways but do not try to help the teacher make a decision.
  4. Encouraging-Assure the teacher that you are listening to what is said by saying things like "I'm following you."
  5. Reflecting-As the teacher continues to talk about the issue, periodically restate what you are hearing the teacher say by saying something like "I think you are saying...". The teacher can then let you know if you heard them correctly. Periodically rephrasing can help a teacher add to what they are saying and further reflect on the problem.
  6. Problem-solving-Encourage the teacher to come up with solutions to the problem. Questions that may be asked can include "What can you do about this?", and "What else can be done?" may probe for further solutions.
  7. Problem-solving-Encourage the teacher to come up with possible solutions. Then ask the teacher to consider advantages and disadvantages of each solution.
  8. Presenting-After comparing the possible solutions encourage the teacher to: choose solutions that are doable, able to be done in a short period of time, concrete and accountable.
  9. Standardizing-Ask the teacher to come up with a time frame in which the problem can be put into place. Ask if resources will be needed, how he/she will know when the plan is working, and when will it be completed.
  10. Reflecting-In order to make sure that you heard the teacher's plan correctly. For example, saying something like "So you are going to do....".

Non-Directive but not Laissez-Faire Supervision

  • Argument against this type of supervision is that supervisors are not doing their job.
  • It can be more appropriate to use with more experienced teachers.
  • It helps the teacher to reflect upon their decision-making, further clarify what they are going to do, and helps facilitate the process from beginning to end.
  • It helps the teacher make their own decision and not have what they need to do dictated by the supervisor.

Non-Directive Supervision Issues

  • Difficult to not influence the teacher decision.
  • Teacher may push for the supervisor to give their opinion.
  • If the teacher does not come up with a solution, listen, be patient, and wait.
  • If this does not work, try a different style of supervision.
  • Steps do not have to be in exact order.

When to Use Non-Directive Supervision

  • When teacher has a lot of experience.
  • When the teacher has the experience to solve it and the supervisor does not.
  • If the teacher is accountable for the problem, let him/her solve it.
  • If you are not invested in the problem, let the teacher solve it.