Thursday, December 13, 2012

Climb the Steep Learning Curve

Prompt 12/02/2012 (Week 15):

So. Here we are at the end of the term. I have two related questions for you.

First: what do you wish you'd known now that you didn't know at the beginning of the

This semester has been full of things that I wish I had known at the beginning of the semester that I know now. For example, ESL sessions are some of the most rewarding and awesome sessions and you build close relationships with the repeat ESL students. Having a student greet me with a big smile when we pass in the halls is one of the coolest feelings that I’ve felt in a long time. It would have been useful if I had been able to run through a mock session with one of my co-workers before taking my first session with a student. I wish I had brushed up on my MLA and APA knowledge a little earlier in the semester. I still feel like formatting is something that I struggle with a little bit.

It was surprising how much I learned about English in such a short time. This job provided excellent on-the-job training for me and the atmosphere was finely tuned to help facilitate growth and learning. I was able to learn along with the rest of the new tutors. I didn’t feel like I was left behind at any point. I wish that I had learned all of the comma rules a bit earlier than I did.

Second: what advice do you have for the incoming tutors next year?

As far as giving general advice goes, I think that the most useful tip I have would be to just jump in head first. Learn as much as you can as fast as you can. Talking to the senior tutors about any concerns that I had was the best way for me to get over any fears I had. The senior tutors have seen almost everything at least once and were very good about giving me good advice. If you have any problems, go talk to Claire right away. She’s the best boss anyone could hope for and she has your best interests at heart. Trust Claire and things will work out.

For the class, don’t get left behind. Keep up to speed on the discussions and the assignments. Also, keep a short journal of your sessions. This will be an immense resource for you in the class. Knowing a few details about sessions that taught you something will make the rest of your assignments in class a lot easier. It will also show you how much you improve over the first semester.


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