Recently I tutored my first session and luckily got a student who actually wanted to be there. The student I worked with had been coming to get help with her papers throughout the semester, but by choice rather than requirement. The paper she brought in for this particular session was one that she had worked on previously with other tutors and was really only looking for someone to double check her use of citations. After reviewing her in-text citations and works cited pages I found little to be wrong; I suggested a few corrections, but this probably took all of ten minutes.
Not wanting to end the session early, I asked the student if she would mind reviewing over her paper once last time with me. Though she had already worked with several tutors on the assignment and read it aloud a million times, she agreed. After discussing the main points she made in the paper, we began to go through it sentence by sentence. She seemed to have no problem getting her ideas on paper and there were no major organizational issues, so I decided to focus on improving the clarity and overall flow of her paragraphs.
It seemed like time flew as we only made it onto the second page of her paper when I realized there were only ten minutes left till close. I asked her if there was anything else she would like to go over before we finished up and she asked about a future assignment which my mentor and I gave some advice on. At the end of the session I assured the student that I felt her paper was fairly strong and that I hoped the session was helpful. With a smile she thanked me before leaving.
After finishing the session, I began to second guess a few of the things that I told the student, but later decided to stop over-analyzing. I think it is hard sometimes not to be self-critical in these situations since we don’t want to hinder the student in anyway and many of us are still learning how to do our jobs. I guess confidence will probably just come with more experience.
Anyways, I would say my first session = Success!
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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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