Supervising is a job and needs no encouragement

So apparently there is finally going to be an award for some of the most hard-working and unappreciated souls on campus. Well, not really, but there is going to be an award for the supervisor of the year. No doubt many of us at this point would scoff before proceeding to brag about how they haven’t seen their supervisor since the first term of their first year. I know this because I’m one of those people.

I am lucky (or unlucky, depending on how you want to look at it) in that I have two supervisors, being a joint honours student. This gives me the chance to compare the two in their roles. In doing so I have realised the simple truth is that your supervisor is only as good you need them to be. I haven’t seen my English supervisor since I realised that I had absolutely no need to see him. On the other hand, my Philosophy supervisor was enormously helpful last term when I got into a difficult situation.

There is no doubt that the work that supervisors do can be invaluable. The stress that University work can put on people means that there will always need to be a friendly and helpful voice to turn to.

So supervisors are certainly necessary. Whether they should get an award or not is debatable, seeing as they are technically just doing their job. I suppose it is a nice idea, and it’s a good way for particular students to say thank you to a supervisor that has helped them, but it all just seems a bit redundant to me in the end.

There should not need to be an incentive to be a good supervisor. Introducing this award suggests that some supervisors just couldn’t be bothered before, but now they might perk up at the promise of being dubbed Supervisor of the Year.

Personally, I would like to think that all of the supervisors are doing their best to help out all of the students in their care, and don’t need an award to encourage them to do so. If they do need an award, they shouldn’t be a supervisor in the first place. Because at the end of the day, nice idea though it is, the implication behind the award, that those in charge of our welfare need to be encouraged, is a little worrying.

One comment

  1. Good supervisors deserve recognition.

    You’re lucky if yours have been helpful but the sad reality is that many are not – even when situations do arise and students look to them for help.

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