This week, I had the ability to observe a couple of sessions in my school (Columbia College)'s writing center. Saying the sessions were different is an understatement. One session was with a student who was hard of hearing. He was having trouble with an assignment in which he had to apply a novel to his life and his experiences. The tutor often had to repeat himself or rephrase things in order for the student to understand. The tutor often had good ideas that the student used in his paper. This student seemed to have come in looking for someone to assist in formulating ideas, not to be guided in the right direction.
The second session was different. The student was required to come in weekly because he is in a lower level of the general writing course. He was very on track and knew what he needed. He did not stray much from his assignment. Once done with the weekly writing assignment, he asked if they could work on another assignment for a different class. He was very open to direction, but was very original in his ideas. This student came for guidance, and that is what he got. It seemed easy enough.
It seems difficult to be this highly adaptable tutor that is required of us. We have to be very elastic like a rubber band, stretch in many directions for the different types of students. We cannot be stiff, but adaptable. It may be difficult to be stretched in so many directions, but this is what is required. It will make us better with people too, because we will be able to deal with a plethora of people, which is a good life skill. All in all, we just have to remember to be adaptable to the variability of the writing center.