In class, we were talking about tutors and the roles they do play and the roles they should play. It got me thinking, I thought to myself, 'What do I think a tutor should do?' Thus, this is what I came up with:
Tutors: Our Role
Our role as tutors is to be the “backboard” to their “goal”; the writer’s goal being getting a good grade on their writing or maybe, just bettering their work. As the “backboard”, we let them bounce, or help them to bounce, their ideas off of us and in return, give them helpful, constructive feedback. As tutors, we are there to help them to learn how to properly edit their own papers and to give them inspiration and guidance when the writer’s may need it. Tutors are there to assist the writers learn more about writing and to help them manifest their visions and ideas, in a clear and cohesive manor, on to paper.
As a tutor, one should never write the work for the writer, and the same could be said for any tutor in any area of study. The writers cannot learn, grow and improve if you do. Tutors should: analyze and give beneficial notes on the writers work in order to help direct the writer to express their ideas more lucidly, make sure that the writers work flows well and the expressed ideas are unambiguous and intelligible. As a tutor, you may help a writer with their planning stages to help guide the writers’ ideas to transform on the page and give the writers advantageous ways to tackle their work in ways that make the assignment less daunting. Tutors may introduce strategies that work for them personally, when they write, but, should be sure to find a tactic that works best for the writer. Not everything works for everyone.
A tutor should show writers that the tutoring process is not one of heavy critique were they are chewed up and spit out nor is it one where work is done for them, but that tutoring is a helpful tool, in which people that are interested in writing actually want to help other writers. Tutoring should never be a situation of cavalier attitudes. Tutoring is meant to be a collaborative effort, one of the tutor and the writer, a situation of learning and growing, not judgment. The book mentions that the tutor should ask the writer to read their work aloud. This will then allow the tutor to take notes of things that they noticed for later conversation. I really like this concept. It, on the one hand, gives the reins to the writer and effectively makes them more comfortable (hopefully), and then, on the other hand, it allows you the tutor to catch things the need addressing and could even allow the writer to catch some problems along the way.
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I have posted a poll in the IWCA forums: IWCA Forum: Peer Tutor => What do we call ourselves: the poll! It is a part of an earlier discussion that kind of petered out about the titles used for writing center workers. Please take a moment and vote! If you don't have an account on the forum, you can register for one by clicking on the "Register" link (next to the rocket icon in the top-right of the page.) Don't forget to state your institutional affiliation when you request and account. (That's how the IWCA Forum keeps out spam accounts.)
By Lori Brock
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As a frightened freshman, I wandered deep in the bowels of the library basement. My eyes darted from room number to room number, looking for the aid my professor promised I could find. At the end of the hall, a golden light shone from an open doorway. My approach was slow and I lingered on the threshold. All uncertainty vanished when I was greeted with a smile and welcomed into the new world of the Tutoring Center. At the time, I did not know I would spend most of my weekdays in that room as a senior or how mundane this new world would become. How could I? I didn’t even know how much insight I would receive from my tutor that day! Being a learner in the writing center is a wholly different experience than being a tutor, yet I know many of my colleagues have not had the same learning experiences that I have. I think this is unfortunate because there is much that a tutor can gain from being a learner. It was my freshman year of college and everything was new. For me, that meant that fear