Supervising new people - What would you do if..... (Oct/13/2008 )
I have been once on the side of the new student who asks "too many" questions. Our supervisor was kinda new to having students around as well.....it was basically a learning curve on both sides. I think it is always important as a new student to have the feeling to be able to ask somebody they trust if there is a question. But this shouldn't go to far.
When my friend and I were new students we had been asking questions (mostly simple questions) constantly because it was kinda easier to ask the questions than to think about for too long. This sounds bad, but it also had to do with the fact that we didn't want to screw up things or weren't sure if we were doing the right things, and asking about just secured us that we were going the right way. Our supervisor also made herself available to us and answer every question (too much available) until to the point where she just had enough....and she was right. She told us to think before we ask, to be confident and try out things (and not coming to her every time just to make sure we do every single step right)....students have to make mistakes to learn, and, most important, to learn to be independent. She basically told us to stop asking her simple questions, to think ourself, but also that she will be there if we have problems or to discuss our science. It worked....we felt hit in the beginning, but we stopped asking "stupid" question.
I think giving your students time when they can come to you is a good idea. In between those time they will have to learn to be independent to try to figure out things.....and if they don't succeed, they are still able to come to you with a "real" question and problem.
may ask your students to go to Bioforum.
but then I have to find another place complain about them
But the coffee-talk seems to do its job. Besides one student - who is not mine so I can tell him to ask his supervisor - all stick to this time. So it seems to work off and I do not have to take a holiday at looney inn . I want to thank all members for the support!
Of course any suggestions on how to supervise people are still welcome