Imagine yourself climbing up a set of stairs. You look up, but you can not see over the top. A feeling of excitement washes over you with a twinge of nervousness. The only way to find out what is out in the horizon is to keep scrabbling up those steps and taking each step on through your own will to move forward.
Now take that feeling and plop yourself in the shoes of a new workshops facilitator named Jen, yours truly. I am a new member of the UCWbL’s Workshops team and I will say climbing those stairs to see the horizon, what being a team member would be like, has been immensely rewarding. It has not even been a full quarter yet, but I learned loads about how to facilitate a workshop and handle myself in a group setting.
Down to the roots, I joined the Workshops Team primarily because I want to contribute to the UCWbL’s cause as much as possible. The team also provides me with the opportunity to conquer my nervousness of talking in front of an audience…especially large classes. Part of my UCWbL goal is to boost my confidence as a tutor and as a person. The Workshops Team gives me the exact dose of confidence I need through constant exposure to group settings.
Some of you may be wondering what we do. Well, the Workshops Team does what the title says! We design, plan, and facilitate workshops. This means we coordinate with professors to meet their needs, create powerpoints, devise agendas, brainstorm workshop activities, and receive feedback from students to improve each workshop. As a new member, I never realized how complex an UCWbL team could be. I was pleasantly surprised, especially when I was handed an agenda detailing each step of the workshop. In the month or so of being a team member, I grew to value what we do. Specifically, my first workshop I facilitated enlightened me to our importance to the Writing Center and DePaul University.
I can say honestly I was nervous for my first workshop. It was a citations workshop and I didn’t know what to expect. The idea of teaching students who may be older than me was petrifying. Thanks to Edward E., he relieved me of my nervousness by providing a run-down of workshops and giving me advice. I essentially shadowed Edward and helped students with questions during activities. Through listening to how Edward facilitated the citations workshop, I learned that not only does the team spread awareness of the Writing Center, but we also establish valuable skills for students. I think it’s really cool that we can teach skills to students (how to cite, how to use digication, etc.) that they will use in the future, their careers, or possibly for the rest of their lives.
Each workshop and team meeting will be another step towards confidence for me. I already feel better about talking in front of groups! I can’t wait to discover what else I can bring to the team and vice versa. I have climbed up those steps towards immersion in a team and seen what the horizon holds. Now all I have to do is explore it. This will certainly be an unforgettable journey.