Learning to Fly

By February 15, 2011Peer Writing Tutoring

After weeks of shadowing, being shadowed and asking every other tutor within a five-mile radius if I could look over their shoulder at their online appointments, I was finally ready. The training wheels were taken off, and it was time to take my first very own appointment. Like our other new tutor/blogger, I checked my schedule obsessively in the days leading up to the appointment in hopes that I could get a sneak peak of the writer’s pervious work. Anything to better prepare me for what lay ahead. As it turns out, my first-appointment jitters and advanced preparation were for naught, as  I was forced to throw caution to the wind with a walk-in appointment as soon as I walked in myself.

Writing about all of the things that I learned on this first day would definitely not fit into a blog post, so I’ll save them for National Novel Writing Month. Instead, here’s the SparkNotes version:

1. Previous knowledge of the writer’s content is not necessary. In fact, I found it easier to identify vague statements and theories because I had started the tutorial with no idea what the writer was talking about.

2. Grad students are not that scary. Papers are papers.

3. Different theories on Writing Center theory/pedagogy are just that: theories. Let’s face it, a lot has been written about how to properly approach peer tutoring. While it’s great to keep these perspectives in mind, it isn’t so great to adhere too closely to them. Follow your instincts, do what’s best for the writer, and all will be well. Much like eating a Reese’s, there is no wrong way to eat a writer. Wait…no. That came out wrong. But you get my meaning, right?

Not only am I thoroughly enjoying my responsibilities as a newly-minted tutor, but I am taking full advantage of the myriad professional development opportunities that the UCWbL offers. Tune in to the blog tomorrow for more information on the UCWbL’s latest project, which is something that I’m heavily involved in and very, very excited about.

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