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I'm a tutor. How can I help you?



              
Image: writingworkshop.blogs.wesleyan.edu 
Upon entering you could assume that you have entered into a library. In the large classroom size room there are shelves with books along one wall. There is one wall with many large windows and a long table with computers are at the bottom of the windows. Comfy chairs occupy the corners and in the middle of the floor are several tables. The Salt Lake Community College, Student Writing Center is a very open and welcoming place. For my semester project I have chosen to work in this writing center.

My first day has come and gone and I admit, I was nervous but having observed several sessions it wasn’t too overwhelming. In the hour that I was scheduled, there was an abundance of staff and the writing center was slow. I didn’t get to tutor that day but I need to do 15 hours and so I’m sure that I will get my chance. I took the slowness to re- think about the observations I did and what I wanted to do and how I wanted to do things differently. 

For one of my observation sessions I was able to see two very opposite sessions happening at the same time. Two friends walked into the SWC (student writing center) and the first one received a tutor that was interested in them the moment they sat down. The second had to get their tutor’s attention by another staff member. The tutor didn’t even close their own work. I was shocked that the second tutor immediately, upon receiving the student’s paper, wrote all over it and changed almost everything on the first page. 

When I checked on the first student I noticed their session was very happy. They were laughing and sharing the student’s paper. The tutor was very engaged in the work they were there to do. The second tutor was very quiet and the student sat across from them, wringing their hands. I realized then that no tutors are alike and that I want to be very involved with the student’s work and with the student. They are coming in for help and if I just take over, do it for them or make them feel uncomfortable-- they won’t want to come back again. When the two student's left one was smiling and very happy. Student number two looked like they would never return.

                Overall, I am very excited for the work that we do in helping the student’s and I am glad to have this opportunity.

Comments

  1. What an eye-opening experience to watch the two opposite sessions unfolding at the same time and to see so clearly what made one session positive and encouraging vs. what made the other session negative and discouraging. It's good to know what behaviors and attitudes to avoid as well as what to emulate.

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