Monday, September 24, 2012

Getting the First One Out of the Way

My first tutoring session was not a difficult one, luckily I was able to have a session with a very prepared and coherent student. I was far more nervous than he was, and luckily our OA Rachel was there to guide me through the process. We sat down and I frantically tried to remember the steps we had recently went over in class about how to start a session. Getting things started was the hardest part. I wasn’t sure what to say. I didn’t know what questions to ask. I tried to disguise my fear as best I could and go at it. His paper was extremely informational and straightforward, focusing on the cost of light bulbs and light fixtures, what the cost would be to switch them out with more money-saving bulbs and fixtures, and what the money savings would be over time. I tried to focus on easy fixes, like commas or tense confusion, and I was starting to really miss the times where I could take a paper away from someone, fix their errors, and hand it back to them. Working in the writing center as a tutor and occasionally helping your mother or friend with a paper are two very different things. You have to keep talking to them during the whole time, and you need to be careful to maintain a professional appearance and manner. When I correct papers for my friends, I don’t have to worry about that, I can go straight into peer review mode. The first session ran for 25 minutes, and by the end of it, the adrenaline was staring to wear off. I didn’t tell him that he was my first session, because I didn’t want him to lose confidence in me or in the Writing Center. I wanted him to feel that I knew what I was doing, even when I didn’t. I think that it helped that his paper was boring and didactic. It wasn’t a personal narrative or an essay trying to persuade you to do anything. It was entirely focused on light bulbs and electrical wiring. I hope that what I can take away from this experience is that getting the first session out of the way was not as bad as I thought it would be. It wasn’t as bad as my first flu shot or my first date, so I think I can call that a success.


Post a Comment

<< Home