Thursday, September 06, 2012


Even though I have been working as a tutor since January, I still have some of the common fears about tutoring.  I am not an English major, and that greatly adds to my greatest fear -passing on wrong information to a student.  I feel that for me (and many of you) writing is somewhat instinctive, and things like grammar, punctuation, and forming a strong thesis are no longer big hoops to jump through. That being said, I always hold on to the fear that I will be unable to explain concepts that are easy to me in a way that is simple and clear for the student to understand. I don't want to confuse the student, or tell them something that is not correct. Experience has taught me that the best thing you can do to combat this fear is to actively work to know your stuff. When there are no students waiting for a session, I will often pick up the APA format book, or thumb through The Least you Should Know about English. My anxiety about passing on bad information greatly decreased as a result of brushing up on basic grammar concepts such as comma rules.  It's also important to remember that tutoring is not some sort of closed book test on your knowledge of writing. Reference books are there to help you when you come across something that you don't know.

 Another fear that I have is that I will look dumb while teaching a workshop. The only workshop I have taught so far was in the summer, and there were only about five students in attendance. I did just fine, but I was nervous the whole time I was teaching it. I still am worried that I will stumble over my words, or that students will ask me questions that I don't know how to answer. I am hoping that these fears will melt away as I gain experience teaching the workshops.

I am so excited that the tutoring class has finally started, and I really think that some of my lingering fears will go away as a result of it. I am excited to work with all of you and to learn from your experiences.


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