Showing posts from April, 2009


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

Life Beyond Tutoring

I realized a few weeks ago that this may very well be my last semester tutoring, at least for a couple of years. I'm finishing my coursework for my Master's degree, and although I'm still working on the never-ending thesis of doom, I'm also already a certified teacher and have been looking for teaching gigs for nearly two years now. Whether or not I find a teaching job, I'll have to really get myself in gear and find a full-time job beginning in the summer. Which made me realize that there's a distinct life beyond teaching. I know there's research about life after tutoring, and specifically how having tutored affects those who have served as tutors - as we move outside the field of education, as we leave school and move outward into different fields. But I'm wondering what those specific affectations of tutoring are, and why how we're affected by having tutored never quite make it back to students who are still tutoring. And I wonder, too, if there

NEWCA 2009

Last weekend was the 25th NEWCA , held at the University of Hartford in the wilds of Connecticut. This was the first conference I attended as a steering committee member, and it really made a difference; I always had a good time attending NEWCA, but I had such a great time this year! Harvey Kail from the University of Maine in Orono gave a great keynote, and Neal Lerner from MIT gave a good talk after lunch about the history of NEWCA. I managed to sit in on some really interesting sessions. I chaired a session called "Record, Reflect, Renew: Using iPods to Understand Writing Center Work," in which students/tutors were using iPods to record tutor sessions for analysis and tutor training purposes. The second session I attended, "Decentering the Center: Taking the Writing Center Pedagogy into the Community," was co-presented by two Teaching Fellow from St. John's Univ. in Queens; they discussed taking writing center pedagogy into the community - Meridith into a chu

Thoughts on My Recorded Consultation

So, when our writing center director requested that we record one of our consultations with a writer, I carried the consultant permission slip around with me and turned the tape recorder over in my palm, but put it off until the second or third or fourth reminder . . . Why the delay? Excuses aside, I'm guessing it had something to do with not liking the way I sound, longing for those (less-invasive?) good old days of crayon and pencil vs. technology--podcast episodes, photo stories, RECORDINGS, and--dare I say it--blog entries? Can't I just WRITE something for you without other aspects of performance? And maybe I prefer to self reflect behind the scenes. Yet, here I am blogging voluntarily . . . eventually, I recorded a consultation, too. Finally, I did it. What did I learn? Something about the careful dance I do situating myself regarding written work (that is how I'm tying the recorded consultation to my above ranting). I asked the student what he wanted to work on and