I’ve never been given training as a supervisor. Instead I came to the role of a supervisor in a round about way. I am the teacher-librarian for the secondary library at my school. When I started in the role 10 years ago, I developed a relationship with the head of I & S, Keely Rogers, and began working with her diploma students on research skills. Soon, I was asked by Ms. Rogers, as EE co-ordinator to assist her with the Extended Essay, which led me to taking over as the co-ordinator two years later. Three years ago we had an excess of students who wished to do a history EE and I was asked to supervise one student. I have to say that my academic background is in modern languages in which I received an MA in French. Thus, not only had I never supervised before but it was also not my subject area. I received a lot of support from Ms. Rogers relating to the writing of a history EE but as far as being a supervisor, I had to call on my library training and my understanding of the importance of the inquiry process along with what I read in IB documents and other literature. In 2015, I stumbled across Carol Kuhlthau and guided inquiry at the American Association of School Librarians conference in Columbus, Ohio, while taking a workshop on guided inquiry and the humanities. Though my school has been an IB World school for over 15 years, only the PYP program is truly inquiry based and though guided inquiry was somewhat of a revelation, it was more a eureka moment when I realised that this was what I had been trying to do all along.
As the EE co-ordinator till two years ago, I developed a handbook for supervisors and had several sessions with the newcomers but unfortunately we seem to have little time in our schedule for training. I did show supervisors the videos on supervisor-student meetings when the new guide came into effect but little more has taken place. This is a regret.