Thursday, April 23, 2009

Introduction

Hello, all.


I'm happy to finally find a place to talk to other tutors. I'm a grad student at Missouri State, finishing up my second year. I'm staying on a third year to get a second MA--my first one is in Creative Writing and my second is in Composition & Rhetoric. I've been tutoring since I started my grad program as part of my teaching assistantship.

When I first applied for the TAship, I have no idea what made me check the Writing Center box, and I also have no idea what made my director hire me, because we never actually met until the school year started (I interviewed over the phone). I didn't really think of myself as "tutor material." But really, I didn't think of myself as "teacher material," either, and yet here I am, ready to make it my career. This semester I was promoted to a Position With Many Names; first my director was calling it "Lead Tutor," then "Training Supervisor," and now he's calling me his assistant director. I've done everything from helping him with training modules to doing tutor evaluations to attending meetings with university bigwigs with him to covering reception when there's no one there to designing our brochure. I absolutely love it and I'll be very, very sad to leave. At least I have another year. :)

Our WC, with the help/prompting of my director's boss, the Associate Provost, is moving into a Learning Commons this summer. We're physically moving, too, from the English building to the library. The Learning Commons is a brand-new idea on our campus and we have NO idea what to expect. Is anyone else involved in one?

3 comments:

  1. What's a Learning Commons? I could hazard a guess as to what it is, but it sounds like there are so many possibilities that it could encompass as a space. Will you be tutoring as you move, or will you have a period of closure?

    When I first got involved in tutoring (nearly 15 years ago, at this point), which was at the community college level, tutoring was held in the Humanities-type building (it was so long ago, I don't remember the name of the building or the name of the tutoring center) - and whether it was called specifically a Writing Center or not I can't actually remember either, but I don't think it was called "Writing Center" - it was held in an entitled "Learning Center" sort of situation in the middle of things, among classrooms and offices, and shared space with other things as well, so it was quite busy, which I liked.

    I'll be interested in hearing how things go for you all once you move, and how it affects your (individually and as a group) tutoring, if you get more traffic, etc.

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  2. The way the Learning Commons is being marketed to the university is essentially one-stop shopping for tutoring. There will be subject-area tutoring and the Writing Center, basically all of the collaborative learning programs, under one roof.

    The Writing Center will be moving as soon as the Spring semester ends and will complete the move before Summer classes start so we can open when they do. This is our first year having summer hours, so that's another unknown.

    It should be an interesting experience.

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  3. that sounds like a good move, Sarah. It seems to offer a more writing across the curriculum feel--many at our campus (Boise State) see the Writing Center as an "englishy" thing. Great to hear from you and good luck with the move!

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