December 11, 2020
My first semester at the Writing Centre has been an amazing experience. I have learned so much from the wonderful students, professors, and coworkers who surrounded me throughout this time. While this was not my first time teaching, it was my first time in a one-on-one academic environment as well as my first time as an embedded tutor. These aspects, as well as the online covid-19 aspect, made this experience so unique and eye-opening. Thus, the experience taught me just how important close relationships with students and teachers can be, and how best to help students from a variety of backgrounds with their teaching. I had the pleasure of being the embedded tutor for CPC, and it was amazing to see how bright the first year students there are. I learned very quickly that despite a few problems, these students already had a good grasp of academic writing, so it was important for me to focus on high priority problems like having a clear thesis, narrowing down a topic to something more specific, or making sure all assertions in a research paper are backed up with facts. Additionally, seeing these students regularly was rewarding, as I would receive positive feedback about grade improvement which made me feel that they truly were gaining confidence and skills from our sessions. Although most of my writing sessions were for repetitive embedded students, I also had the opportunity to work with some ESL students as well. While equally rewarding, this was a very different experience and was quite difficult for me at first. I had never taught ESL students before this semester, and I did not know quite where to start. However, the students were both incredibly intelligent and very patient and helpful as I learned the best skills to work through the language barriers. One of these students actually started coming to me for tutoring regularly and we built a wonderful connection and writing-system that worked for us.
Overall, although challenging, my experience as an embedded writing tutor was incredibly rewarding and helpful. I learned skills that I know I will be able to carry forward both in my career and my personal life in the future. Next semester, I hope to bring with me everything that I learned this semester. Additionally, I hope to place a larger focus on those high order priorities and continue to pursue new ways to work with ESL students that help them feel like the independent writers they are. Thus I hope to become a more astute and helpful writing coach as my time with the writing center continues.