December 14, 2021
During my writing center sessions this semester, I was struck with a new appreciation for being in-person with others, both tutees and coworkers. I was surprised by the beneficial impact of connecting with students during sessions after having a year of distance from others while working for the Writing Center. Although online sessions provided valuable chances for growth, learning, and flexibility, I appreciated the new opportunities that being in-person offered. I feel that I learned new strategies for helping students and was able to engage more readily with repeating and embedded students and the content of their assignments.
I also felt a sense of fulfillment in my role while encouraging first year students, especially those in nursing. Transitioning to University is overwhelming in many ways, introducing academic and social challenges. Face-to-face sessions enabled students to be more comfortable in the environment and I had opportunities to encourage students, especially those who were returning for multiple sessions. When supporting nursing students, I appreciated the opportunity to reassure them that it does get easier and recognize their anticipation of what is to come in future years. It also provided a sense of nostalgia as I am wrapping up my time at Trinity. I remember those first initial assignments, the excitement for future courses and clinicals, the new friendships that were being formed. I’m unsure if these sessions were helpful or encouraging to these students, but I was encouraged as my academic career seemed to be coming full circle in these sessions.
As I wrap up my time with the Writing Center, I am thankful for the opportunity to learn in this environment and work with embedded and non-embedded students. I am thankful for Emily, a patient and supportive boss, and for coworkers that made the transition back to in-person as smooth as possible. I am thankful for embedded faculty who care about students and seek to bring about personal and academic improvement for each of them individually. In a study done in 2016, that investigated the long-term benefits of Writing Center curriculum for peer tutors, Driscoll wrote that this experience “can set them up to detect, elect, connect, and be prepared for their future learning in diverse contexts and careers” (170). Based on this research and numerous benefits that are already evident in my daily life, I know that the lessons that I have learned during my time as a writing tutor will be valuable in my future endeavors. Only a few of these lessons include active adaptability, active listening, appreciation for diverse backgrounds and neurodiversity.
Driscoll, Dana L. “Building Connections and Transferring Knowledge: The Benefits of a Peer Tutoring Course Beyond the Writing Center.” The Writing Center Journal, vol. 35, no. 1, Oct. 2015, pp. 153-181. EBSCOhost, search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=edsjsr&AN=edsjsr.43673622&site=eds-live&scope=site.