Reflection On The Tutoring Process

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Throughout my first semester of being a writing tutor at the Stony Brook University Writing Center, I have focused on establishing a methodology by which I will lead my writing sessions with students. I have found that the best way for me to tutor is to establish an open, honest dialogue with my students where they are pushed to learn about their writing process. I have found that while I don’t feel comfortable with being compliant to the expectations and actions of my students, I do feel comfortable leading my students to an answer by patiently asking honest, leading questions or answering their questions honestly. Moreover, I am not interested in keeping “writing secrets” from my students; if I have an opinion or critique about their paper, …show more content…
Take for example, in the beginning of the semester, I would try to read through the an entire paper with a student, but would never be successful in doing so because I worked on tackling every concern that I came across. However, as a recalled in my own experience, it is much more valuable to the student to learn one meaningful skill rather than forcing them to learn multiple, small lessons in forty-five minutes. Ever since, I have made a conscious decision to find one concern in a student’s paper and put most of my energy into teaching them how to remedy that one area of …show more content…
The first limitation is that the student may believe that I am keeping “writing secrets,” that only writing instructors and tutors are privy to. Also, asking questions can be used as a tool for me to lead a student to an answer that I have developed, which takes away the power and authority from the student. In this respect, the question becomes what does collaboration look like in a writing center? I believe that for honest discussions to occur in the center, there must be a collaboration between the student and myself. This idea is expressed in “Collaboration, Control and the Idea of a Writing Center” by Andrea Lunsford, where she argue that a writing center should “engage students in … not only in understanding and valuing collaboration but in confronting squarely the issues of control that successful collaboration inevitably raises; not only in reaching consensus but in valuing dissensus and diversity (9).” This is idea is critical to my chosen methodology in the writing center. I believe that it is important for both myself and the student to understand that a writing session is a joint-effort; the student can not passively take instruction throughout the session or expect that the tutor will edit their paper. However, I can not control the session by suggesting ideas for a “better” paper, without hearing any opinions that the student has. To circumvent this

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