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.
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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.)
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