Tales Of A New Tutor (Part 3)

By October 8, 2012Peer Writing Tutoring

Well, I’m almost at the finish line, guys. I’m just one step away from being unblocked on the master schedule, and being free to tutor on my own!

As my shift is winding down, I spent the majority of the day shadowing, and being shadowed. Having already tagged along on two face-to-face appointments and one online realtime appointment, the only thing left was seeing how a written feedback goes. And so, I took the first opportunity I could to check it out.

The tutor I shadowed had the task of reviewing a two page reflection, written by someone whose main goal was to sound as “native” as possible. The tutor and I discussed what this could mean to different people, but decided to focus on grammar, and clarity, above everything else. Sentence-structure errors didn’t seem to be a problem (I’m always amazed at how nervous some ELL students are about their grammar, when in reality, many have a great grasp on it already) but organization did. So after brainstorming together, we wrote in some marginal comments, as well as clarified ourselves in the end commentary. On my end, written feedback is the most enjoyable type of appointment. As someone who has taken on the role (or had it forced upon me by my friends and classmates) of correcting papers since I was little, editing is second nature to me. And although face-to-face as well as online realtime appointments have the same end goals as written feedback, there’s something about having the paper in front of me, all to myself, that gives me a rush. And lets not even get into how dorky I can get about being able to type on the paper by way of margin and end comments…

The most important step today though was getting shadowed by an experienced tutor on an appointment, which is required before being able to officially begin working as a tutor here at the UCWbL. The writer that I worked with came in wanting some help on his paper for his human communications class. Like the writer who submitted her work online previously, this writer also wanted to work on grammar. But once again, grammar was not nearly as big of an issue as he expected it would be, and instead we spent the bulk of the time working on his conclusion. Which of course, ironically, is something I too always have problems with. How much summary must you include? How do you keep it from becoming repetitive? Can you add any new information in there? If only all assignments could follow the simple “five paragraph paper model” from 5th grade…

I free up next week. Yikes. Here we go!