Interview with Supervisor Ms. Paula Leguizamon

There are many job opportunities in the education field and many different paths to get to them. That is why it is helpful to hear from people that have already gone through the process to see what paths might be a possibility for you. K12JobsNJ has interviewed Paula Leguizamon, who started as an ESL teacher and is now a Supervisor. Hearing about her unique experience can help you in your decision-making process of working in the education industry.

Q. Can you tell us a little about yourself?

I was an ESL teacher for 22 years at Union City High School. I hold two Master's degrees in education. I received my bachelor's from St. Peter's University. I have two standard teaching certifications as well as a Supervisor one. In 2015 I was selected as one of New Jersey's Exemplary Educators, and in 2019 I was honored as Union City High School Teacher of the year.

In 2022, I became a supervisor at Edison School, where I currently observe, coach, and evaluate the 5th and 6th grades and bilingual teachers. Facilitating learning, whether it is to students or faculty members, is one of my biggest passions.

Q. What is your favorite thing about being a Supervisor? 

Being a supervisor can be a rewarding experience for many reasons. One of my favorite things about being a supervisor is the opportunity to guide and support others to reach their full potential. As a supervisor, you have the chance to mentor and develop your team, provide constructive feedback, and encourage growth and improvement.

Supervisors also get to have a significant impact on the school and department they oversee. They can shape the culture, drive innovation and change, and create a positive work environment that benefits both the team and the organization as a whole.

Finally, being a supervisor can be a fulfilling role because it allows you to contribute to the success of others and the organization. When your team succeeds, you feel a sense of pride and accomplishment knowing that you played a part in helping them achieve their goals.

Q. What inspired you to become an administrator? 

As a former ESL student, I always had the desire to help ELL students succeed in school. As a Bilingual supervisor, I play a critical role in ensuring that ELL students have the resources and support they need to learn English and excel academically. I get to work closely with teachers and staff to develop curriculum and instructional strategies that meet the unique needs of our ELL students. I work with teachers and staff to develop and implement strategies for teaching English language learners (ELLs) and ensuring their academic success. 

Q. Since the pandemic, many teachers struggle with social and emotional issues. What are you doing to try to address these issues?

I prioritize the social and emotional well-being of our teachers. I offer professional development and resources to help teachers manage stress, build resilience, and foster a positive work environment. I strive to create a culture of empathy and understanding where teachers feel supported and valued in my department. I also communicate openly with my teachers about the challenges they are facing and work collaboratively to find solutions. I feel it has helped to reduce feelings of isolation and provide a sense of community and support.

Q. Can you describe a typical day as a Supervisor?

Overall, a school supervisor's day is busy and varied and involves juggling multiple tasks and responsibilities to ensure that the school is running smoothly and providing a safe and effective learning environment for students.

  1. Reviewing schedules and making adjustments as needed to ensure that classes run smoothly and efficiently.
  2. Meeting with teachers, staff, and administrators to discuss any issues or concerns that may have arisen and to provide guidance and support.
  3. Conduct classroom observations to ensure that teachers are meeting expectations and providing effective instruction.
  4. Responding to parent inquiries and concerns and working with parents to address any issues that may arise. (mostly attendance issues)
  5. Conduct meetings with school board members, district officials, and other stakeholders to discuss school policies and procedures.
  6. Ensuring that the school is in compliance with state and federal regulations related to education, safety, and health.
  7. Review and analyze student performance data to identify areas for improvement and develop plans to address them.
  8. Conduct professional development sessions for teachers and staff to improve their skills and knowledge.
  9. Collaborating with community organizations and partners to provide resources and support to students and families. From finding a dentist for a student who does not have insurance to connecting a parent with our community food pantry. 

Q. What can school districts do to support someone in your role? 

Overall, by providing resources, support, and opportunities for growth, school districts can help school administrators to be effective leaders and managers, and create a positive learning environment for students and staff.

  1. Provide professional development: School districts can offer professional development opportunities for school administrators to improve their skills and knowledge. This can include training on topics such as leadership, communication, and conflict resolution.
  2. Offer mentorship programs: School districts can develop mentorship programs that pair new school administrators with experienced administrators who can provide guidance and support.
  3. Provide resources and tools: School districts can provide school administrators with the resources and tools they need to effectively manage their schools. This can include technology tools, data analysis software, and access to research and best practices.
  4. School districts can create a culture of support and collaboration by encouraging school administrators to work together, share ideas, and problem-solve together. This can help to reduce feelings of isolation and provide a sense of community.
  5. Offer competitive compensation: School districts can offer competitive compensation packages to attract and retain talented school administrators. This can include salary increases, bonuses, and other incentives.

Q. What is something you wish people knew about being a Supervisor?

One thing that people may not realize about being a school supervisor is the level of responsibility and pressure that comes with the job. School supervisors are responsible for overseeing the day-to-day operations of a school, managing a team of teachers and staff, and ensuring that students receive a high-quality education. They also have to navigate complex regulatory requirements and manage budgets and resources effectively.

In addition to these responsibilities, school supervisors often face a high level of scrutiny from parents, community members, and district officials. They are often called upon to address difficult issues and make tough decisions that can have a significant impact on students, teachers, and the community as a whole.

Despite these challenges, many school supervisors are deeply committed to their work and passionate about creating positive change in their schools. They work tirelessly to support teachers and staff, engage families and the community, and provide students with the resources and opportunities they need to succeed.

Overall, being a school supervisor can be a rewarding but challenging job, and it requires a high level of skill, dedication, and resilience.

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