With a schedule brimming with English classes, this semester has been long, tedious, and tiresome, though the time I spent fulfilling my duties for this class was gratifying and enlightening. Though our texts were informative, it is safe to say that the most interesting and important things I learned took place within the classroom, within the many intelligent conversations that transpired between Clint Gardener, my classmates, and I.
Initially, many of the concepts we discussed were foreign to me but I now know of components of tutoring, how they can be applied, and so much more. From the Socratic method, to unconditional positive regard, to directive verses non-directive methods, to the importance of establishing a relationship and having an action plan, it is safe to say I have learned a ton regarding student tutoring, especially in tutoring writing. One conversation that took place that will never leave me was about “the yard care analogy” and I have come to my own conclusion regarding this topic: here at the student writing center we plant seeds, not trim hedges. We plant seeds in writers with hope that these seeds will germinate, grow, and blossom into something spectacular. People who want their hedges trimmed (writing proofread/edited) should take their writing elsewhere. We are not hedge trimmers, we are nurturers of seeds. Our main focus needs to be on improving the writer and not the writing itself.
Though it has been a busy semester to say the least, after enough energy drinks and cups of coffee to kill an elephant, it has been a memorable and informative one. I wouldn’t take back any of the hours I spent in the classroom or in the writing center because I believe every minute of time that I donated to this course has benefitted me deeply. I must thank all of my classmates and especially Clint Gardener for contributing to such an intellectually nurturing experience. Though now we part, I hope that the discussions and debates we have had as a class will follow the rest of you as they will me. I wish you all the best of luck in your lives and college careers as you pursue the single most important thing in life: knowledge.
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.)
Dear me… As a junior in college, you were just trying your best and going through the motions (like everyone else) . You wanted to fit in and emulate what you thought a typical college student should look like. Then, along came the opportunity to become a w riting c onsultant. That’s immediately when the fear started, I began questioning myself and my own personal writing. I was unsure how I, a typical college student, would have enough skills to help others. How would I manage being insecure with myself when I was supposed to be someone my peers looked to find their own confidence? When it came to your first day of work, you were sitting in the writing lab waiting for your learner to show up with anxiety pouring out of your body. It was probably the most anxious you ever got in your life - aside from applying to college in the first place. You were so excited to meet your colleagues, yet so nervous that you were going to disappoint them. Thoughts streamed through your head
Testing Online Tutoring Online tutoring may be a constant of the tutoring landscape, but the question of effectiveness remains. Which organizations are best prepared to meet the needs of students: writing centers affiliated with universities or “professional” tutoring agencies, such as Pearson-Smarthinking? It is this question I intend to address in conducting a proposed experiment. Important Background Information The concept most central to this proposed experiment is that of knowledge claims. In his book Reformers, Teachers, Writers: Curricular and Pedagogical Inquiries , Neal Lerner identifies the three primary types of knowledge claims that appear in a writing center: “writerly knowledge,” “emotional knowledge,” and “role knowledge” (Lerner 115). “Role knowledge” is arguably the most important knowledge claim (Lerner 115). While analyzing transcripts of student sessions, Lerner noticed there was a correlation between the presence of “role knowledge” claims and the “success”