Reflective Supervision

Supervisors who utilize opportunities to guide teachers’ decision-making through reflection are engaged in a form of on-the-job mentoring which is an ideal scenario for promoting teacher growth as well as successful program outcomes. This apprenticeship approach is known as reflective supervision. In this discussion, we will apply ideas about ethical leadership, mentoring, and reflective supervision to common early childhood settings in a practical context. Begin by watching the following two-minute video on using reflective supervision as program benefit: Lessons in Leadership: Reflective Supervision (Links to an external site.). After watching this short video and reading Chapter 7, consider a time when you, or someone you know well, took on the duties of managing or leading in an educational or related organization.

In your initial post,

Administration for Children and Families [usgovACF]. (2015, August 17). Lessons in leadership: Reflective supervision (Links to an external site.) [Video file]. Retrieved from


The delicate balance of mentoring someone is not creating them in your own image, but giving them the opportunity to create themselves. 

— Steven Spielberg

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Reflective Supervision

Supervisors who take the responsibility to guide teachers’ decision-making through reflection are engaged in a form of apprenticeship or on-the-job mentoring known as reflective supervision (Scott Heller & Gilkerson, 2009). This week we will explore the purpose and process of reflective supervision. Additionally, we will identify skills used in supervisory roles that may transfer to the roles of mentoring and coaching. (Please refer to chapter one for characteristics of mentoring and supervising and the importance of clarification of roles.)

As supervisors, we have the opportunity to offer a mentor/coaching relationship to those we supervise. When, as leaders, if we are playing both the supervisor AND mentor role some important guidelines to remember are:

Supervision can be a place where a living profession breathes and learns.

-Hawkins and Shohet

 ‘Supervision in the Helping professions’

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