Life in the middle: Analysis of the role and satisfaction of district subject supervisors

Stephen Michael Young, Fordham University


Instructional leadership and supervision of teachers are no longer the sole responsibility of principals. A new model of instructional leadership has emerged in the suburban school districts in metropolitan New York. This model employs district subject supervisors as key instructional leaders, district-wide and across grades K–12. Until now, no research has been conducted on this model of instructional leadership. This study analyzed the role and satisfaction of district subject supervisors in suburban school districts of New York. The study determined the relationships between job satisfaction and sense of professional efficacy of district subject supervisors, their roles (managerial and instructional leadership) and job functions, and the personal demographics of subject supervisors and school district characteristics. The Subject Supervisor Satisfaction Survey © was administered to the supervisors and their personal demographics, school district characteristics, roles and job functions, and satisfaction and efficacy were recorded and analyzed. The typical district subject supervisor was found to be a White female, between ages 50–59. They are certified school district administrators with nearly 60% having more than 21 years experience in a public school system. Most individuals are former high school teachers and over 80% have fewer than 10 years experience in the position. School district characteristics revealed that nearly 60% of the supervisors worked in districts with less than 7,000 students and 75% worked in 4–9 school buildings. Sixty-six percent had an office in a middle or high school location and worked with 11–20 teachers on a weekly basis. Instructional and supervisory roles were significantly different between supervisors aged 50 or older and those 49 and younger. Instructional and managerial roles are similar when gender is considered. Significant correlations were found for supervisor job and role satisfaction and administrative, supervisory, and content efficacies with instructional functions, annual salary, employment decisions, and weekly teacher contacts. Regression analyses predicted supervisor job and role satisfaction and administrative and content efficacies. Underlying implications of this research provide a foundation for future research. Further research recommendations to gain a better insight into the new model of instructional leadership are provided and eleven recommendations for improving practice were suggested.

Subject Area

School administration|Curriculum development

Recommended Citation

Young, Stephen Michael, "Life in the middle: Analysis of the role and satisfaction of district subject supervisors" (2008). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI3312059.