Sunday, November 03, 2013

Resistant to change

I have had many opportunities to tutor students who are resistant to change. students often come to us because they are required to do so by their teachers. Oftentimes the students who are the most resistant are the ones who believe their writing is already good enough to get the grade they want. Others, however, feel like the Writing Center environment is an insult to their intelligence, as if they are being told to go to the Writing Center  because they are not as smart as some of their peers. Other times students are just unaware of our role as tutors or of the role of the Writing Center as a whole. Because of these scenarios, it becomes necessary for tutors to gain some strategy in order to deal with resistant tutees.

One of the main strategies I employ When dealing with a resistant to tutee is to show empathy. The students who benefit from this are usually those who are unsure why they need to go to the writing center or those who don't quite understand what the Writing Center can do to help them. For these two cases, I generally use words such as "when I was in my composition classes, it felt tedious for me to come to the Writing Center as well. However, after seeing that I could benefit from the Writing Center, it became easier for me to continue coming. " While my actual words depended on the situation, the basic sentiment is here. I can reassure the student that they are not alone and what they're doing. Even the tutor they're working with has been in the same situation. By empathizing with a student, I was able to reassure the student and help him or her to understand the benefits that can come from being tutored at the Writing Center.

But what do we do when students are familiar with the writing center but resent that Hey are meeting required to get heir papers tutored?  These students are often argumentative,  and they resist changes to the paper, having excuses for the errors in their paper along the lines of stylistic choice or personal preference.  In these situations, I find that it is necessary to adjust the way I explain certain concepts.  Instead of asking a student if he or she would like to fix an error,  I encourage the student to jot down a note.  Also, I make it a point to emphasize that my comments are suggestions only,  that I am a peer giving advice rather than an authority figure passing judgment. In this way,  I ensure that I put myself on the same level as the tutee, creating a more positive learning environment.

From these two examples, we see some strategies I have used that can help tutors deal with a resistant studant. In both cases, it took effirt on my part to prove to the student that I was aperson, and a student myself, rather than just a representative of the university. Practicing these strategies has helped me to combat unproductive sessions and has helped me to teach students who had no intention of being taught,  who Street resistant to change.


Blogger A.K. Packer said...

You are a patient and diligent teacher. The students who come to you are lucky that you actively look for ways to teach in such a manner that the student really understands concepts.

7:48 PM  

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