One of my favorite former students approached me in the hall earlier this week as I was "wearing the hat" of clinical supervisor. She asked me if I could please be her supervisor at some point during her clinical rotation. I commented that it was so nice of her to ask and I was honored. I then asked her why.
She said she needed someone to be mean.
What???? I looked at my students who I am currently supervising who were there with us and asked them what they had been telling people...
But my student, who I had previously taught for 3 semesters and who also worked on my research project for me, was very quick to try and explain that she just knew, based upon her history with me, that I would tell her like it is, tell her the bad with the good, and that she wanted that.
So, I was feeling a little better at that point, and less like an evil supervisor. I do make a habit of giving the good and the bad, as my goal is not for my students to like me, but to leave this university as a better clinician because of something they learned from me.
I'm sharing this because most of you have never seen me in this role as a firm and tough instructor/clinical supervisor, and wouldn't believe it if you saw it. A friend from church recently commented that she couldn't imagine me in that role because she couldn't imagine me ever saying anything to hurt someone's feelings or to make them feel bad.
Oh, if only she knew. I'm sure my former students have many stories about me...Yet I am confident that they will look upon those stories later (maybe much much later) and see that though they may not have liked my criticism or comments, that it was truthful, made them a better clinician, and never mean-hearted.