On September 7th, 2013, I joined a peer tutoring program called "Salt Lake Teens Write" which "is a community-based mentoring program [who pairs] local teens with adult mentors [in order] to motivate both teens and mentors to strengthen their writing skills for personal, academic and professional development." Over the last 3 months I was provided the opportunity of working with one 17 year old teen who is an immigrant from Burma trying to improve his reading and writing skills. During that time we discussed how to write music, lyrics, poetry, short stories, and college applications. We witnessed many accomplishments and look forward to many, many more as we both elected to continue with the program until its conclusion in May 2014.
The young man I have been working with has opened my eyes to a new world and way of writing. Likewise, he has shown me a new and better way of seeing the world and writing about it. The reciprocity I felt while working with him and the blessed opportunity to work within this program has dramatically effected my life for the better and I believe will continue to do so.
The education and mentoring training I received from my instructor helped me immensely. Without such collaborative insight from him, the other class members, and our various texts I would not have understood the importance of tutoring an ESL student -- or any student for that matter -- with respect, understanding, sincere concern, and gratitude. in fact, that last word "gratitude" is the best and only word I can think adequately to attribute to this last semester and, ironically, to its end at the end of this 2013 year. Every November we thank God -- if we believe in one -- and/or everyone else around us for the blessings which we may not recognize on a daily basis or throughout the year, but are there. In December, we watch as the snow blankets the ground while Christmas Lights light our city streets. In January, we see the beginning to an appropriate end and start anew. I am grateful as I exit this MENTOR WRITING 1810 course for not simply taking it, but allowing it to take me.
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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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