A few weeks ago I had a student come in who I am almost positive had a learning disability. I of course didn't ask her about it or mention anything, which would have been rude, but it was turning over in the back of my mind during our entire session. I wasn't really sure how to handle her. The ideas that her paper was trying to portray were strong, but it seemed as though she was unsure of how to communicate them to the reader. I didn't really know how to handle her. I don't know a lot about different kinds of learning disabilities, but I thought that there might have been a social protocol that I should have followed. I know that we aren't allowed to try and mentally diagnose our tutees, but it's hard to ignore it when the person is sitting directly in front of you. I wasn't trying to dig into her personal life so much as I just wanted to have a better understanding of her situation so that I could be a more helpful tutor for her. I hope that before the end of the semester we will have the opportunity to talk about students with learning disabilities in class and maybe even talk about different ways of handling them. I think that this would help me to be a better tutor to all different kinds of students.
Popular posts from this blog
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.)
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
So, I was driving to school today and as always was listening to NPR (that's my self-promoting conversational piece informing you on how intelligent and connected I am) really, I just like the coverage on the campaign and "This American Life." Okay, I am already getting off topic and I haven't even gotten on topic yet. Anyhow, the story I was listening to was about a woman who used to be a part of the admissions committee at Dartmouth and is now working as an independent consultant helping students with the admissions process for schools. For a cool $40,000, she will work with you from 9th grade to graduation to help prepare you for your college admissions process. And for the budget price of $14,000, she will help you write and revise your college application essay. So, how in the world does this correlate to our world? Well, her work with college applications includes helping students decide on effective topics (staying away from "teen angst, or