PeerCentered is a space for peer writing tutors/consultants or anyone interested in collaborative learning in writing centers to blog with their colleagues from around the world. Bloggers here will share their ideas, experiences, or insight. To contribute to the blog, please contact Clint.Gardner@slcc.edu.
Well, I suppose I'll go ahead and introduce myself. I'm a second year graduate student, but this is my first semester as a tutor. I've been on the job two weeks now. At first, I'll admit that I was apprehensive about peer tutoring (is peer tutoring really peer tutoring, etc.), but the handful of sessions that I've had so far have been enormously enjoyable and rewarding. I think I'm sold. Still, I haven't a vast knowledge of writing center practice or theory yet. I know I'll learn more as the quarter progresses and even more from my actual tutoring sessions. Right now I'm focusing on such basics as listening and learning how to ask the right questions. Of course, neither of these skills are "basic," but they are skills I've long taken for granted--until now.
Last Spring Kathleen Shine Caine gave the keynote address at the Rocky Mountain Peer Tutoring Conference that we had the honor of hosting. In the address she talked about stories as a valid means of sharing and devleoping our work. Her point was that, yes, we do need more structured studies that give hard numbers, but we cannot ignore the annecdotal in our quest to become more respectable in academia. Until somebody else starts sharing here, I'm going to keep going on and on about how great that sharing can be.
I think people might be blocked. I made coffee for everyone this morning. It disappeared fast. Fall is definitely here.
Hey folks. I guess I'll break the ice so that Clint will hear something besides his own echo. We're in our second week of operation, and in this, our writing center's third year, we seem to have some early-semester traffic that we didn't have in previous semesters. Obviously, I'm excited about this fact. Currently, I'm struggling with issues of staff training. We have a small staff (4 students, a volunteer from the English faculty, and myself), and this is the second semester I've been unable to schedule any sort of staff meeting/training time. The individual schedules of our staff members simply didn't allow for it. Thus, I'm trying to figure out how to handle the challenge of training staff members individually without sacrificing either a desire for community or an inordinant amount of time within my own schedule. Fortunately, at this point, while business is greater than it has been in the past, there are still plenty of opportunities f…
It looks like we finally have some members of the blog besides me. In all I was thinking about what one could post here. Ultimately it could be anything to do with writing center work such as experiences, practices, things we learn etc. I would of course suggest that we adhere to a policy of not mentioning names since that violates a writer's privacy.
So with that in mind--the writing center has reached its first big rush for the semester. I always feel better when were busy since we aren't very busy at the beginning of the term--at least with meeting students one-on-one. Right now there is a murmur of work coming through the room to my office in the corner. I should make coffee for everyone.
Originally, Peer Centered was a real-time discussion. Since those conversations never took off, we decided to shift the emphasis away from real-time discussion to the web board. The web board, however, had only limited success. For this reason we decided to move to a blog format since many writing centers already keep their own shared journal, and might be a more apt way to share.
Elizabeth Boquet in Noise from the Writing Center devotes part of the penultimate chapter to exploring the surprising ways writing consultants/tutors wrote in their local Writing Center Journal. My hope is that we will be surprised, entertained, and educated by the latest incarnation of Peer Centered.