Supervision refers to the practice of observing and directing the work, tasks, projects, and job duties of another individual; the role of the supervisor is focused solely on the improvement of the employee in ways that will benefit the facility or organization (Smith & Hardy, 2014). Mentoring, on the other hand, refers to the actions taken by someone who has experience in a given field and teaches a newer individual to the field or to the company about how to advance and improve on a personal level, providing them with the skills that they will need in order to further their own career and gain access to opportunities that might otherwise have been missed (Pamplona, Ysunza, Sarre, Morales, & Sterling, 2015).
Looking at the differences between my clinical experiences during and after graduate school, I would have to state that I have had more supervisors than I have had mentors. I believe that there were several people whom, if you asked them, they would have said that they were mentors to me, though I did not perceive them in that manner. These individuals, they would attempt to tell me different activities that were going on or would mention different development opportunities, but they did not take an interest in me or my career. They seemed to simply take pleasure in knowing more than someone else and making that fact known. I did have one mentor, an older woman who was more than willing to give me suggestions and offer encouragement, but she ultimately moved away and we did loose touch. Now that I am in a supervisory positions over other SLP students, I believe that I will ultimately work on adopting the role of a mentor, but I will need to gain a better understanding of who those are under my charge first and a clearer picture of what their goals are, before I can start to work on fostering that type of relationship. The skills and experiences that I have collected and honed since becoming a SLP could potentially benefit those within my charge.
- Pamplona, M., Ysunza, P., Sarre, P., Morales, S., & Sterling, M. (2015). The effectiveness of mentoring speech and language pathology students when they face patients with cleft palate. International Journal of Pediatric Otorhinolaryngology, 79(10), 1708-1713. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijporl.2015.07.030
- Smith, S., & Hardy, A. (2014). Use of iPad video-review feedback in the supervision of SLP student clinicians. Perspectives on Administration and Supervision, 24(2), 62. http://dx.doi.org/10.1044/aas24.2.62