Monday, August 20, 2012


Hi all.

Welcome to the Writing Center and to the ENGL 3840 blog.  We've been keeping this blog for nearly 10 years, and you will find in it a treasure trove of responses from your peers, both past and present.

Since the beginning, I have asked the incoming tutors one question: what are you most nervous about with regard to tutoring? What scares you? What keeps you up at night as you think about the hoards of ENGL 1010 papers you'll be dealing with?

What I'd like to see you do here in your first post is to look back through those first blog posts (use the history links on the right [click the ones in late August of each year]) and write a post about what kinds of responses your predecessors composed.  What do they tend to be nervous about? Are they similar to or different from your worries? How?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi everyone,

My biggest fear about tutoring is that I don't know everything :) It's a hard life when you want to know everything and realize you can't. I'm glad Claire and Dr. Rogers have talked extensively about guiding tutees towards resources that will help them help themselves. I'm really good at finding books with answers and examples.

I'm also worried about students coming into the writing center once in hopes that the tutor is going to make their paper perfect. I'm sure I won't see everything or be able to help with everthing a paper needs in a single visit. I found a good solution to that while I was doing an observation this week. The tutor worked through the paper with the student, then talked to the student about the value in coming back for revisions and so another tutor could look at it who would maybe see things that the first tutor didn't.

Some things I noticed from previous blogs I read through:
- a difficulty to watch out for is shift changes in the writing center, we don't want to have students not being helped while incoming tutors are waiting for the exact minute their shift starts. we also don't want to abandon students when we have to leave to go to class. So keep an eye on what's going on, clock in 5 minutes early to help in a session so someone else can get to class on time if they need.

- Learn from other tutors! Lots of tutors commented on how valuable it was to listen to what other tutors say/do with tutees. One tutor watched how another tutor was good at helping students relax by making them laugh. He wrote in his blog, "I want to steal the ability to make students laugh." I want that too!

- A useful example someone wrote about that I want to hold onto: Writing forms teach form/skill like non-dribbling basketball drills. Clearly non-dribbling exercises aren't useful in a game because you'd be traveling, but the skill is crucial. So...sometimes the writing exercises aren't something the student will use, but the skill will teach them things they need to know in order to be at the top of their game.

1:00 PM  

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