Clint (the Writing Center Director and my Professor here at Salt Lake Community College) asked me to share my plans for volunteering this Fall. I’ll be working for the Community Writing Center’s Teens Write Program and most likely be with someone who is not fluent in English to help them express themselves: I’m a little apprehensive. I suppose it’s because I don’t really know what to expect other than the academic world I’ve grown accustomed to.
What have you done to adapt to a new mentoring situation? Any suggestions for writing-ice-breakers (like a game?)
I want to do this because it’s a way to give someone something someone gave me: opportunity. Choosing to work at the writing center has been the best decision I’ve made in college. I’m grateful for the position. I’m grateful that people saw potential in me and gave me an opportunity to utilize it.
As a final thought, an instructor told me about why tutors are needed, why we’re important. She said that “you’re not just helping students learn how to write [or learn a subject], you’re [we’re] helping them graduate from college.” For me, that put tutoring in a different perspective; I hope you also realize how important your role is, that people need you.
Thanks in advance for any and all advice (I've got one: READ THE MANUAL.)
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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.)
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
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