December 15, 2021
This semester was my first semester being able to work in the Writing Centre in a face-to-face setting with students. I was able to meet students I worked with in previous semesters face to face and I was also able to meet my coworkers in an in-person setting. This semester, I was an embedded tutor for WRTG 101 and ENGL 101 classes and I am very thankful for the opportunity to build relationships within the TWU learning commons community. During this semester, I worked with students from all over the world, who spoke different languages, had different stories, and came from various education systems. This experience was very influential in seeing how everyone comes with their own educational journeys and how writing was able to bring people together in some way.
In Oolong’s writing of “Neurodiversity is for Everyone”, they mention that “[p]eople have very different experiences of the world, and unless we listen to them when they tell us about what makes their lives difficult and what helps, we often make things worse.” I am grateful that I was able to work with the same students each week because it allowed me to understand their needs as a learner even better. For some students, I learned that communication would be more effective through in-person meetings rather than online meetings, so I made sure I was available to meet in person with them. For other students, I knew that examples and speaking slower would be more beneficial for them, so each week, I knew to keep these things in mind as we worked on their assignments. I knew that I needed to be aware of learner differences and be sensitive to the ways that different students progress in their writing skills. I had one student who needed more support in essay structuring and thesis statement development so I made sure that these were the focus of our meetings each week. I wanted to be intentional in how we used our meeting times and provide guidance for ways to move forward. For this student, I learned that giving them a list of tasks to work on before our next meeting was a good way to keep them on track guide their writing processes, so I made sure to spend the last five minutes our every meeting to create a list with them about where to go from here. It is through learning about our students and what they really need is that we can create spaces for them to learn more effectively and efficiently.
I am grateful to have worked at the writing center again this semester. The community is always so encouraging and welcoming and I want all students to know that we really do intend to help you in any way that we can. As a writing tutor myself, we are students ourselves and we understand that sometimes it is difficult to ask for help. I would like to assure any student that is hesitant about coming to the writing center that it is a safe space for everyone.
Oolong. (2019, October 19). Neurodiversity is for Everyone. https://oolong.medium.com/neurodiversity-is-for-everyone-f375a27aa3c9