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.
I am the director of a high school writing center in Florida. While our peer tutor staff constantly trains so that they may provide their classmates with the best assistance possible, we are taking a more active role within our school. With the hopes of dispelling the notion that we are an "assignment center" that "fixes" papers, our staff is attempting to reveal the importance of precision and revision of writing outside of the classroom and the realm of academics. We have created a writing internship program, a visiting writers' series, a student writers' forum and an e-newsletter. We hope these programs will establish a new appreciation within our student body for the writing process. If you would like to see some of our work, click on the link below. If you have any questions about our efforts or if you run similar programs, we would love to hear from you. We are always looking for new perspectives and partnerships.
Well it is the end of the semester--the craziness seems to have subsided. Folks here are quietly working on email responses now. It is kind of sad to see all the bustle ending--but quite necessary at this point.
wow! I figured out how to post! I just wanted to comment on the directors mtg held last week at UVSC. It was great to get together with people who have the same passions and problems that I do. I wish it were easier to have the heads of regional writing centers get together because I think we have a lot to offer each other. I'm looking forward to becoming an official region of the ICWCA.
I thought I would put the following question which was posed in a comment below into the blog proper so folks can use the comments here to answer:
"Hi. I just found out about this blog, and I thought that I'd pose a question that a couple of the tutors and I are mulling over. When does a session become non student-centered and become assignement sheet centered? Is or can there be a session that is honestly "student-centered"?
Tell me what you folks think...if there is anyone out there...:
I had the honor of going to the University of Utah and talking to the tutor training class there. They were a great group--full of smart questions and interesting discussion. The University has just recently started a writing center. It was great chatting with the tutors as well as hearing how they deal with common writing center issues. It would be nice to have the peer tutors who work here meet up and discuss issues with them. Of course, folks could do that here too.
Oh well, I'm not going to despair over PeerCentered. I will just badger people to death with its existence.
Sometimes I think I am beating a dead horse when it comes to PeerCentered. My presumption that blogging was the "in thing" seems to have been way off the mark. Perhaps peer tutors are just too busy to sit down and journal about it--especially when that journaling is open to anyone and everyone.
Well, I'll give PeerCentered a bit longer, advertise it a little more, and then see what happens. It isn't all that amusing that the majority of the entries here are my machinations about how to get people to write here. Talk about a metablog!
There is some amount of debate on WCENTER about the combination of IWCA and NCPTW (International Writing Center Association and National Conference on Peer Tutoring in Writing) Conferences. I think my only concern is that peer tutors would be pushed out of the discussion in favor of director talk. There is nothing wrong with director talk, of course, but if the purpose of a conference is to foster peer tutoring then it should be about that. Directors have other issues to discuss that might preclude any talk about and amongst peer tutors.
Hi. I am a peer consultant at the writing center in Syracuse University, NY. I wanted to talk to some international writing consultants if there are any out there. Please get back to me if you are one!! Thanks.
We just recieved the latest issue of Writing Lab Newsletter, and I'm particularly interested in an article from the folks at the College of Chrarleston Writing Center. It seems that their director has been collecting "exit essays" from graduating tutors from their WC. She has been doing it about 10 years now. What a great idea. I think I might start doing something similar at our WC, but I wish I had done so long ago. It looks like it is a great resource for folks currently working in the WC, and would be a great training instrument. As the article says "Having current consultants read and reflect on what their own peers from the last decade have said about working in the Writing Lab demonstrates to the present consultants that they are not alone in their constant, generous, sympathetic efforts to assist other with writing.... They are, indeed, connected to a long line of fellow workers who, like them, have realized the special roles they play as helpers to ot…
We've reached a slow spot in the term. Undoubtedly it is due to Fall Break (which starts this afternoon). It is nice to have a bit of a breather since the first half of the term was so busy. The new folks are just about ready to start working on their own, but have suddenly come down with various illnesses. I don't look forward to the round of colds and flus that tend to go around writing centers when the weather starts to turn.
I am currently at the TYCA-West (Two Year Conference Association of NCTE) up in Rock Springs, Wyoming this weekend. I've been trying to make contact with other WC folks in our region. There are a few of us. It has inspired me, however, when I go to IWCA in PA in two weeks to contact two-year folks.
There was some discussion on WCENTER a few weeks ago about "active time" of tutors. I think we've reached saturation point right now. 80% active is far too much, I think, and can quickly lead to burn out. Luckilly the two new tutors will be coming into their own soon.
Hi, all! My name is Sylvia Newman, and I manage the Weber State University Writing Center in Ogden, Utah. I'm looking forward to being part of the Blog community.
Someone referred to Plato, which reminded me of a humorous sentence in a student paper: "As far as I'm concerned, plutonic love is just a friendship." We wondered which definition he meant: having to do with the planet Pluto, having to do with plutonium or having to do with dogs with floppy ears.
I've had word from Sylvia at Weber State University that she has some folks up there who are interested in joining the blog team. I was thinking of advertising the blog again on WCENTER, but then again it hasn't taken off yet, I don't know that it ever will. I'm a bit surprised by this since blogging has become so hot. Undoubtedly people who blog already have their own sites, so don't think of coming to a place like this.
Anyway, it has been euphorically busy in our Writing Center here at Salt Lake Community College. I've been training some new folks since we are down a few folks our staff. That has been quite invigorating, to say the least, since one always gets a fresh perspective when new folks get involved in Writing Center work. I think this is the busiest we have ever been--and we are generally quite busy. Enrollment is way up. That explains it.
It has been a busy couple of weeks. Between getting the new semester rolling and already meeting with many students, we've been nearly overwhelmed. We're hiring a few new tutors, so fresh perspectives will be very nice.
Fall semester has started quietly, as do most semesters. It is, however, pretty busy for me since I have to coordinate everyone's hours and attend a bunch of meetings on issues that have been stewing all summer. People seem refreshed, however, much different from the walking dead I witnessed last Spring (both in student writers and in faculty.) Summer is good.
That was quick--here we are back to the new semester. I am going to advertise PeerCentered, the blog, on WCENTER to see if it will generate more interest. Hopefully the new commenting system will at least generate some interest, even if folks don't want to participate in the blog itself.
All pretty quiet in the DBU Writing Center for the past few weeks. I have night shifts alone, so I get a lot of homework done and see only a few people. The atmosphere here is so conducive to good thinking, such an intellectual atmosphere and so good and peaceful...it's great. I have had a lot of visits just from homies. I've been teaching one of my friends (almost) as much as I can about Plato, and I find she's a good learner.
I've been thinking about Fall semester a great deal lately. It should be an exciting time (as I think most Fall semesters are) in the Writing Center. We're going to have quite a few new folks working here, and that always kicks the energy into high gear. It is always good to see new growth and development in both writers and peer writing tutors.
Here are some quick reflections on writing from a theology/philosophy major who is also a UWC employee. Grammar and writing are so important. Truth has to be propositional. Things have to be said in the form a sentence, with a subject and a verb and a direct object or a predicate nominative. If truth is not in this form, it has no practical value, mostly because it is incommunicable. So it's pretty cool that I work for a Writing Center. I get to work with grammar, the vehicle of truth.
You know, here I am in the Writing Center, talking to writers about their work, and I just want to note the charge I get out of it. There is something about delving into the process with them--working with a writer to get a sense of it, or learn about something. Anyway responding to writing and fostering a learning situation is a charge and a half. I would hope that writers also have that experience. I think they do based upon their animation in the discussions.
We have 4 day weeks at SLCC in the Summer. While I think tutors and students like it, I think it is taking its toll on learning. I would keep the Writing Center open over the weekend, but the building is locked and the A/C is off.
It's quiet here on June 30 in Bellingham, Washington. Our little Center is plugging along with two tutors--there is no funding for a director in the summer, so my role is as additional (emergency?) support only. Our WC's open just 8 hours a week this summer, mid-day Monday through Thursday. I was in there a while ago, and we had "no customers." Like I said, it's quiet. That's nice, though, after the hectic pace of the rest of the year! The trick, I guess, is to let the quiet help me make room for some new ideas rather than lull me to sleep.... But of course there's nothing wrong with a nice long nap, either.
We had a staff meeting today and talked about methods to get student writers to make follow-up appointments. There were a lot of good suggestions--anywhere from having a "most improved paper" contest to changing our report form to emphasize making new appointments. I think, however, the most valid perception that one of the tutors gave was to make sure one is not in a "one shot" mindset. In other words, if the tutor is thinking that this is the only time that he/she will meet with the student, than that will probably be communicated to the student writer unintentionally. The best thing to do is to go in with the open mindset that the student will be coming back, and that this session is one of many to come.
Welcome to Peer Centered. Hopefully we can stir up enough interest to get folks posting here. We had a fitfull start last fall, but then when the semester hit, people forgot about it. We'll see how it goes for the summer. I have plans to heavily advertise in the fall.
Hello there everyone; I am Mark Jeremiah Boone, Writing Center peer tutor at Dallas Baptist University; I am new to the blog.
I want to talk about postmodernism/premodernism as it pertains to the reading/interpretation of a text. In my own experience here I have noticed little relevance of the issue except when perusing student's papers for English classes.
My knowledge of the subject includes several philosophy courses and the fact that I have read books on postmodernism by premodern authors (Francis Schaeffer), books I would simply describe as "premodern" (for instance, CS Lewis), books I would call "postmodern" (Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, and a little Heiddegger), and books that have aspects of a Christian postmodernism (Gilbert Keith Chesterton). I have also taken classes with both premodern and postmodern professors.
The issue, as I understand it, is this: premodernism's creed regarding hermeneutics (of Scripture or any other text) is that there is one …
I advertised PeerCentered on WCENTER the other day. Let's hope that more folks take interest in it. I suppose it didn't garner that much interest initially because of the shifting nature of writing center work.
The summer has been relatively quiet so far. We started a few weeks back, and things have finally started to pick up. People get antsy when there are few students to meet with, so we've been doing things for the web site.
I had the opportunity to go up to the University of Utah the other day. They are starting up a writing center. Even in our tight budget times, they managed to swing fundingr. My friend and colleague Tif spent time talking to Raul Sanches, the person organizing it, discussing issues that tend to come up with writing centers at their inception, and, in general, discussing the prospects of a University Writing Center. We then went over to where the new writing center will be, and I will have to say I'm jealous. It is in the former card catalog room of the old part of the Marriott Library--a big old atrium that goes up 5 floors and (now) has a huge skylight at the top. The space borders on a big computer lab/reading room, as well as general reference--seemingly the center of that part of the library. I told them I was jealous of their set up, but then again, as Tif said, we have a pretty good set up as well. No marble, mind you, but we've worked hard with what we were given.
Well another year in the Writing Center is over. It has been a tough year, in all, having to face down a shrinking budget which means fewer students to work with more and more student writers. Ah well, I survived. Sad news at the end of it all--our new Community Writing Center (a service for out-of-school adults) is facing the budget ax. There are good folks here who are working to save it.
Peer Centered the blog hasn't been extraordinarilly successful, but I think i am going to let it continue and really advertise it next fall. In the meantime, dear reader, I hope your summer goes well.
Ah what an interesting day in the Center. Aside from the normal number of bustling students, we had an impromtu gathering of faculty who sat on the couch and talked about comp/rhet pedagogical theory. This used to happen quite a bit my early history here, but had died off over the past few years. We recently hired three new faculty, and they are having a good effect on our overall faculty. All this was inspired from a movement in our WC to start weekly discussion on teaching/comp/rhet theory.
I guess we've all neglected poor PeerCentered. Time to rectify. It has been a busy semester--I am always intrigued by those posts on WCENTER about drops in usage for Spring semester at other institutions. I've never had that experience here at Salt Lake Community College. I sometimes think we are even busier in the Spring than in the fall. I am sure that is due to the nature of our institution.
Last week was Spring Break, and it couldn't have come at a better time. Right before SB we were getting some "cranky" students. This of course put the tutoring staff on edge. The break was nice.
Right now I look out across the Writing Center and see groups of writers chatting away and working on pieces. There is an discussion about the war in the corner on the couches. Outside there is a gentle desert rain.