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Tuesday, February 10, 2009

too much love?

So with Valentine's Day right around the corner, love is in the air. Especially in our Writing Center air. At our school, the Writing Center consultants could be mistaken for some of REM's Shiny Happy People (holding hands). I feel really lucky to be working in this environment. Consultants regularly come to the Center to do homework or hang out when they aren't scheduled to consult. We are one another's special Valentines...

It's a lot of fun, but I wonder...how might this appear to writers? If students are apprehensive to come to the Writing Center, could our (perhaps seemingly exclusive) camaraderie make these students even more apprehensive to stop in? How can we balance our shiny happy friendships and our writer-centered philosophies?

3 comments:

  1. I think that friendship and esprit d'corps among tutors is wonderful, and it helps create a positive ambience in the WC.

    You raise a good point, though -- you don't want that group love to look cliquey.

    As long as you greet students with the same friendliness when they come in, as tutors do each other, I think the feeling will spread positively. (I wouldn't hug students when they come in, but I would smile big and say, "Great to see you again! How's the semester going?")

    It sounds like you're aware of it and could bring it up for discussion. If you do, write back and tell PeerCentered how it goes.

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  2. I hear what you're saying big E!
    Mike suggested once (or at least I think it was Mike...ha) that when a writer enters the WC we should stop all side conversation and focus on how we can help the writer.
    We should greet them with lots of enthusiasm just as Jane here suggested.:)
    I know I'm guilty of having lots of side conversations with my fellow WC pals--even when I'm not working... but I've tried to make it a point to keep the conversation low and make sure all my attention goes to the writer. :)

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  3. Good topic!

    Our space is really small, so when a student comes into the WC, because of how our chairs are set-up, he or she basically steps right into the center of our little circle.

    Sometimes when we mean to put the focus onto the student, it backfires a bit, and everyone suddenly goes quiet, and it feels like all the oxygen has been sucked out of the room.

    It's a fine line between bringing students into a friendly environment and putting them off with too much friendliness.

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