Monday, September 30, 2013

"There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit at a typewriter and bleed" - Hemingway

So students get emotional. It happens. Sometimes, that emotion is positive: they love the topic they wrote about. This can be a problem, however. They become so invested in the subject that they are reluctant to change anything. Other students have negative emotions, either from the topic they're writing, the process of writing, or external factors present in their lives. These can be more difficult to deal with than those who are resistant to change from the investment in the topic. It requires the tutor to anticipate and preemptively strike against the negative effects or outward signs of the emotion. In my early tutoring career, this happened with a student I had worked with multiple times. Anywho, we were working for around 45 minutes on her paper, and I had to explain that she seemed to have missed the mark on the assignment. We discussed options for what she could do to push her paper closer to the target assignment, and as we finished up, she started crying. She said it wasn't my fault, and sat there in the writing center crying for a few minutes, then left (still crying). It was awkward and uncomfortable for me. I wasn't sure what to do. I made sure she felt like stopping, then let her deal with it herself. I don't know if I would handle the situation differently now. I think each one is a little different, and it depends on why the student is crying. However, if I notice a student may start getting emotional, I feel confident that I could offer to take a break and let them regain their composure.


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