8 – 9 April 2019

Rachel Hawthorne

Supervision for Professional Well-being

The concept of professional supervision to support reflection, capability building, and sustainable well-being for those working in complex roles is well-established in sectors such as social work, mental health, counselling and special education. 

Education involves demanding front-line work with huge organisational and relational complexity. At present, there are few effective mechanisms within the New Zealand educational system and culture that support educators and educational leaders to manage these demands over time. This presentation makes a case for the importance and effectiveness of professional supervision for all educators, particularly team leaders, deans, heads of faculty, senior leaders, and principals.

External supervision can provide support for these professionals to navigate the demands of their roles, and provides a confidential context within which they can use hindsight through reflection, learn through insight into their practice, and develop foresight from which they can grow and increase capability and effectiveness. While mentoring, appraisal, SCT, and 'critical friend' relationships serve a purpose, they do not necessarily provide the platform or the craft and expertise specific to professional supervision in guiding others through this process over time.