Staying organized while supervising graduate student interns can be difficult. When I get that email asking if I’ll supervise a graduate student, paperwork is the first thing that pops into my head! After that, it’s time. Do I have the time it takes to really give them what they need? I hate the idea that either of these reasons overwhelms us and would be the reason not to volunteer your time to supervise a student. As with everything, a little preparation can save you a lot of effort in the long run. Here’s a few tips from my experience!
Set up a routine with time built into your schedule. Protect that time. It’s meant to keep you from whizzing by a crazy week without giving direct feedback. Schedule 15 to 30 minutes and protect that time. Maybe it’s lunch or after school. Just make sure that if you have to change it – you tell your student and have them keep you accountable. Don’t let it get scratched and replaced by something else, never to be rescheduled!
Give yourself a set time to approve hours. I put it on my calendar for every Friday at lunch. This keep me up to date weekly, instead of waiting too long to recall our schedule!
Type out your expectations and review them the first week. This is give you time go over the expectations all at once, rather than mentioning things as they come up over the semester.
Create a folder of important documents that you use throughout the school year and continuously add to it. You can add to it even when you aren’t supervising! Then when you do start with a new student intern, you’ll have plenty of must-have documents or skills to talk about!
One of the things you’ll spend a lot of time doing, is providing feedback for therapy and treatment. My best advice for this is to utilize forms that make it easier. Create a system that make it easier on you and simplifies that feedback. Pick your format for feedback. I’m usually a paper person. I made a checklist of skills to give myself some direction for key areas I’m working on helping my intern grow in during the semester. I print this list and put copies on my clipboard. Every day, all I need to do is grab my clipboard and be ready to observe my student. When the day is done, I review it with my student and then have her make a copy and give me one back. Keeping a copy for myself lets me identify patterns and jogs my memory when it comes time to do the midterm and final feedback forms.
If you aren’t a paper format person, you can create the same checklist and save it as a PDF form. Open it on your iPad and write your notes there. Save a copy and email one to your student. Another option is to write notes into a shared google document. You can both edit the document and make notes into the shared document.
I have feedback checklist for both evaluation and treatment in my Grad Student Intern Supervisor Forms packet. Click over to my store to learn more. If you have tips for staying organized, leave a comment and let me know! I’d love to add to my list!
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