Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Reluctant Writers

I have definitely had my fair share of tutoring reluctant writers in sessions at the Writing Center. I can remember two examples to begin with, one more extreme than the other. 

I had a session a few weeks ago in which a girl brought her paper in “for extra credit.” The paper was enclosed in a plastic covering and she informed me that she did not want me to make any actual corrections on her paper. I felt very confused about what to do next when she asked me for a brown slip to prove to her teacher that she “came in” to the Writing Center. I had her read through her paper and tried to give a few suggestions for her writing. I told her to try to come in to receive help from the Writing Center before she was ready to submit her paper. I grabbed a brown slip and ended up writing “The student read her paper aloud to me. No corrections were made.” I then wished her luck with her paper. This was an extreme case of reluctant tutoring, and there wasn’t much I could do in that situation. 

I had another session in which the student seemed very uncomfortable with the tutoring process. At the beginning of the session, I could tell she wasn’t too enthused about receiving my help and I felt very uncomfortable. I started asking her more questions about the paper to get her more involved. She still seemed reluctant, so I stopped during the session and asked if there was anything that she really wanted to work on. After I asked again (I had asked the same question at the beginning of the session and had not gotten a concrete answer) she started to become more involved in the session and started responding to my suggestions. We ended up having a very productive session once she became involved in the tutoring process. 

I have found that if I show the student that I am really just trying to help, they become more comfortable with the tutoring process. I don’t have a specific solution to dealing with writers who are reluctant to receive tutoring, but each time I try and make them feel as comfortable as they can be in each session.  


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