2021 Super.Vision Training is now on its summer break, after 7 months of online training. A well-earned rest for the trainee supervisors. Of course, trainees will be continuing with their practice supervision hours and maybe some reading!
There are the optional tutorial meetings during the summer and then later, in preparation for the start back to the course in September, there’s the self-assessment process which looks at the learning attained by the trainee, where they feel there are gaps in their knowledge and where they feel their strengths lie. This prepares us for the modules on learning and teaching.
Coming back in September tends to provoke the beginning of anxiety around the written assignments, of which there are two. The first being a reflective journal which focuses on the material they’ve engaged with and the reflections of this engagement as well as their experience of learning online. This journal has a twofold purpose; to aid and give material for the assignment ‘Your Philosophy of Supervision’, to aid reflection and reflective practice and therefore deepen the learning.
The assignment ‘Your Philosophy of Supervision’ is the one which provokes the most anxiety. I describe the assignment as – imagine you’re at a dinner party and someone asked you what supervision is, your philosophy behind it, and the actual engagement of supervision…. well, that’s the assignment but with the added piece, it needs to refer to the theories of supervision and be academically referenced.
Once these two pieces of work are handed in then we’re approaching the end and working through the ending.
For myself as course director, the summer is a time of advertising for the next course which starts in January, answering queries about the course, taking applications, setting up interviews and finally starting September, and interviewing.
The summer is also a time of reflection for me, how well is the course going, is it providing trainees with the theory, skills and practice they need to become competent supervisors? Are we, as teaching staff competent in our work and growing our knowledge of supervision? Are we keeping up with developments and research about supervision? Are we supporting the trainees well enough in their development?
The summer is also for me, a time of beginning to see the end as well as a new beginning. The end is bittersweet. The sweet being the growth of the participants, personal and professional, being part of and witness to this growth. The bitter is the knowledge of going towards the course end and saying goodbye to people who I’ve journeyed with for a year and come to know and respect.
Every cohort brings their own uniqueness. So, every cohort brings with it learning for me, personally, professionally as a supervisor and trainer. The group have bonded, even online, and often find it sad to be saying goodbye, just as I find it sad.
Then there is the beginning for me. The new cohort who I don’t know, don’t know how they will bond and function together. There is the excitement and the challenge. Can I and the other trainers provide a good enough place where the participants can be themselves, grow through what they know and what they don’t know and go through the group process of forming, storming and norming. And end being the best supervisors they can be.

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