Saturday, November 24, 2012

Drawing the Line

In the aspect of accommodating students who may be racists or are uncomfortable around women, I would say it's definitely a hard call. Exactly where is the line?

In regards to the situation posted in the prompt for this, I feel like I really can't take a stand on it. My main thoughts are that as a tutor, you should use your best judgement. In a situation where I would be presented with a student who is not comfortable with being tutored by a woman, I would not tutor the student. I would go and find a male tutor who would be willing to work with them because I would rather the student have a good experience and learn in the writing center than shut down because they are uncomfortable with their tutor.

I think things might be a little different with students who are racist or write racist papers. In these cases, it might be a good idea to try and steer student's papers away from racist views. Maybe trying to help the students write more grounded and evidence based papers would help because essentially, racism is a matter of opinion. It may be a good idea to play the devil's advocate for them to help them solidify their claims. They may not like this approach because when talking about things that are attached to emotions, but if you inform them of what you are trying to do, they might accept it better.

All in all, there is a definite line. If a student does not want to work with me because I'm a woman, or because of my race, honestly don't want to work with them either. It would be better for their learning environment to adjust a little, but as a tutor it is up to you to make the call. If you still want to work with the student, by all means. But for me personally, I find it better to just let the student have his/her way so that they can have a better learning environment.


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