April 6, 2021
This semester gave me great opportunity to think about work. I slightly reduced my hours this semester, because I had increased my course load. I also had my hours spread out evenly across the week. While last semester I had long shifts on three days of the week, this semester I had two hour shifts on four days of the week. This was less desirable for me at first, since I like to get work over with and out of my head. However, this scenario is more desirable for my students. Last semester, I found that when I worked for multiple hours at a time, I would start to get mental fatigue toward the end of my shift. This was especially apparent in my evening shift. I have found that spreading my hours out across the week allowed each shift to be short and sweet. Now, I was able to work with each student with a fresh frame of mind and an alert consciousness. A lot of research supports this as well. Keller (2009) points out there is much research showing that longer work shifts increase worker error and negatively affect worker productivity and alertness. Keller (2009) describes how this can lead to disastrous consequences in the medical profession. While I am not in the medical profession, even a writing tutor is relied up to provide good knowledge. If I give a student the wrong advice, it could very well harm their grade in a class for which they have paid over $2000. While being a writing tutor does not require an enormous resume, it is an extremely important job, and one that should always be taken seriously.
I also refined my techniques as a writing tutor. I started using client report forms, which I did not realize existed last semester. I found that it was extremely useful for summarizing the main accomplishments of the session and the next steps for the student. I also realized something that was exceptionally helpful for my peace of mind. I often worry that my advice would be bad, or that the student’s professor would disagree with it on a personal level. However, when students want an email to be given to their faculty, I can send the client report form to the professor. This allows the professor to see the advice that I gave the student, and keep it in mind when grading the student’s work. I also realized that the comments for the client report form are an excellent place to put the survey link. Last semester, I found myself using the last few minutes of the session to send the student the survey link on MS Teams or via email. Now, I can simply add it into the client report form, and not take time away from the student’s session.
Keller, S. M. (2009). Effects of extended work shifts and shift work on patient safety, productivity, and employee health. AAOHN Journal, 57(12), 497–502. https://doi.org/10.3928/08910162-20091116-01