Tuesday, December 03, 2013


Oh man, what advice would I give to new tutors? I think my biggest bit of advice is don't be afraid to be friendly.  It is important to maintain a professional boundary with tutees, but a smile and a laugh go a long way.  If you pay attention to the tutors how seem to constantly have tutees asking to meet with them, you'll probably notice they are the same tutors who are smiling or laughing during their sessions.  Part of our job is putting a good face to the university.  Tutees who feel like they are welcomed and enjoy being in the writing center will definitely see us as a good face.

Another bit of advice is ask for help! There is nothing more embarrassing than giving a tutee bad information.  Best case scenario they ignore your help, and worst case scenario they lose respect for you as a tutor and will not come back to you; they may even tell others not to come to you.

Along those lines, study as much as you can.  Become familiar with APA, MLA, and (if you're feeling particularly brave) Chicago.  Study the handbooks and reference guides.  Ask other tutors for help.  The more you know, the more effective you'll be as a tutor.

Also, pay close attention to the hierarchy of help (or whatever it's called) that is in the writing center.  Know what you should be doing and do it.  One big complaint among tutors is that other tutors are not properly occupying their time.  When people are waiting, walk up and help.  Don't even wait until then. If you see someone walk in to the writing center, stand up and go offer help.  When there are OWLs to do, offer help. When there is nothing to do, ask someone what you can do.

As you become more efficient at tutoring, your sessions will become faster.  Make sure to stay on task; do not sacrifice speed for effectiveness.  However, pay attention to other tutors.  If you notice that they do three sessions in the time you complete one, ask to observe them.  Maybe you can learn some things.  Take as many sessions as you can.  Master tutors need to practice to maintain their tutoring skills, but new tutors need to practice to GAIN tutoring skills.  Do the work and you will get better at it.  It's as simple as that.

And my last bit of information I'm going to provide is this: work well with the OAs.  They are the ones who distribute sessions.  Do your fair share and they will like you.  Slack off or don't work hard and they may not like you much.  This may be a little selfish, but sometimes tutors need a break.  The OA can definitely help you know when would be a good time for a break.  They can also keep you on track for session length.  They are your lifeline; don't be afraid to use them a bit.


Post a Comment

<< Home