Sunday, February 14, 2016

ARS2.2: "Exploring the Roles of In-Class Tutors"

Tutors take on many different roles through their experiences in the writing center. Whether they are working with students who schedule appointments in the center, are working with teachers on presentations, or are embedded in the classroom, writing center work is at the heart of what tutors are doing with students and how they structure those moments. However, feedback and approach are critical to being effective in different or new areas. Consider how embedding tutors into the classroom might impact learning. How might this change the consultation? Consider also how permanent embedding in a classroom (like a Block class) might impact consultations and our wider school community.

Remember to include the following in your COMPLETE PARAGRAPH response:


  • Your impressions of the article (likes/dislikes/agree/disagree)
  • How does it connect to writing centers at large?
  • How can it be applied to the MHS Writing Center?

14 comments:

  1. I enjoyed the information presented in the article “Locating the Center: Exploring the Roles of In-Class Tutors in First Year Composition Classes”. The article begins by explaining who the authors are and how their ICT, or in-class tutors, work. These group of individuals who are passionate about Writing Centers explain a study they conducted. They collected data through surveys and interviews. Information collected showed that there were clear expectations of ICTs and the faculty, but there were misunderstandings between students and ICTs. One issue that ICTs identified was that their presence was sometimes met with resistance from students. The article declares; “During an interview, one tutor stated that ‘those who come to the writing center actually want help,’ whereas in the classroom ‘tutors face students that aren't willing to share or discuss their work’” (Deloach 4). This is something that many writing centers, including Mattawan Writing Center, can relate to. We often have the opportunity to work with Mrs. Harvey’s class. Due to the fact that these students are not voluntarily coming to the writing center, there are some students who often lack in participating in a consultation.

    Another topic mentioned in the article was a tactic ICTs used called roaming. This involves tutors floating around the classroom during work time. This may work in assisting classes where students resist help. Although this may seem as the opposite as helpful, I believe that if students are not being forced to participate in a consultation, they may be more open in volunteering in this setting. They would be able to ask specific questions instead of working through their whole paper. Also, if students see their peers ask questions, they may be more open to asking for help.

    Overall, I felt like the information given in this article is very useful to all writing centers, including Mattawan Writing Center.

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  2. In the article, "Locating the center: Exploring the Roles of In-class Tutors in First Year Composition Classrooms", Kathleen Klompien and her coworkers discussed the topic of in-class tutoring. The article overall, gave great insight on different types of in-class tutoring, and how their writing centers approached the problem of "decentering". I think this article is a great source and compilation of different ideas on in-class tutoring. I not only gained new knowledge on different things I could use in the future, I also can use sme of the data in this article at my presentation in ECWCA. Also, at large, many writing centers, if not all, would find this article enlightening and very useful to their writing center. For instance, the article talks about what some directors of writing centers did to collect data on tutoring: "We collected both quantitative and qualitative data through anonymous surveys and interviews"(2). This information would specifically help the MHS WC when it comes to in-class tutoring. This is because, our program has never really had in-class tutoring besides having full class consultations with one or two teachers. We could use this information to begin to decenter our class to the rest of the school and enhance students writing. Overall, this is one of the most informative articles I have read about WC.

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  3. Reading "Locating the Center: Exploring the Roles of In-Class Tutors in First Year Composition Classrooms" by DeLoach, Breaux, Angel, Keebler, and Klompien was, to be completely honest, a chore. The whole concept of In-Class Tutors at universities was, however, fairly interesting. I thought it was interesting that composition course teachers allowed Writing Center tutors to interact with the students in the classroom during the class-time. It's an idea that I'm amazed got off the ground, and has potential to be implemented into more schools and more classes. Mattawan High School might even be able to do this with their writing center and English classes, though probably not quite in the way the authors described. Then the article starts diving into a survey the authors conducted in the college they operate in. Their survey asked multiple faculty members and students what their personal opinion of In-Class Tutors was, what their expectations are, and if they understood what authority the Tutors hold. At this point, the reading becomes harder to hook readers in. The authors bombard readers with data using a bland writing style that just did not intrigue me. Covering In-Class Tutors is definitely an interesting topic, but the authors didn't present the research in an engaging way.

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  4. While reading "Locating the Center: Exploring the Roles of In-Class Tutors in First Year Composition Classrooms," I was more intrigued by the idea than the words used to display it in the article. I think the back stories were valuable pieces of information, but wanted to get to the point and learn what I was supposed to in the article. I liked reading about their experiences and found it very valuable to hear what other consultants had to say about the idea of in-class tutoring. I think this style of consultations is very valuable to writing center work. I love the idea of working with students during their class time, as I have done this on multiple occasions with my independent study. In my experience, students are more willing to work with a consultant when the consultant comes to them, rather than them having to take their own time to make an appointment. As stated in the article, one tutor found this to be different. They say that, "those who come to the center actually want help" and "in the classroom, tutors face students who aren't willing to share or discuss their work." I'm not sure why this is the case in this setting, but it might be due to the age gap. High school students tend to like easy options, which may be the answer. This is certainly something we can implement at Mattawan, but with a few bumps. Our best availability for these students is during our whole group time because more people will be helped. Obviously, not every consultant is available during every hour of the day. That aside, I still think this would be a solid idea for us to continue and use in our setting. We did do this last year with a block class and it worked really well so I would imagine that it would continue to work if we tried once again this year or in future years.

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  5. I really enjoyed this article and the points it brought up about the benefits and challenges of in class tutoring. I thought it had a lot of common sense, and have a lot of problems that needed to be solved. The research was solid and believable, and I especially liked the information given in the surveys. I liked how everything was explained simple and plain. I thought this article was helpful to writing centers at large because it gives a call to fix the problems with this method of tutoring. It is important to be able to recognize the flaws in the structure of the writing center as see how we can build on them. As for the mattawan writing center, I thought this article was extremely helpful because it directly related to the topic I am speaking about at ECWCA. it showed me the problems and solutions to the plan I had come up with to incorporate writing across the curriculum, and it gave me incredibly valuable information that I can incorporate into my presentation.

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  6. The entire idea of in-class tutors seems like it has some pros and cons. My reasoning is from my experience with Mrs Harvey's block class when Michelle and I were in-class tutors for two class periods when they were learning thesis writing. Our job was to free-roam around the students and try to help when we were needed. It was really hard to get the students to ask for help and they didn't really want us to bother them and get in their space. I felt really awkward trying to ask students if they needed any assistance, because I felt like they thought we weren't as qualified as their teacher to answer their questions. This article felt like it pertained to our writing center under the sense that sometimes we work in whole class consulting and we have run into the differen scenarios that are mentions in the article. When the article spoke about the three types of consultations, "roaming, one-to-one, and small groups"(5). During the whole class consultations those are seen a lot, and for me, if feels like roaming gets nothing done, one-to-one is the most proactive, and small groups are hard because only one or two students provides insight. Looking at the other part of the article, speaking about the triangular expectation flow, it connects completely to our Mattawan writing center. When is says, "participants bring with them their own unique sets of expectations"(2), we as consultants run into this with ever client. They all want us to be something different, sometimes a therapist, or a friendly helper, a teacher or just an entity for comfort. We have to change our tutoring method depending on the students expectations of us and that always alters the effectiveness of the consultation. Overall this article covered a lot of interesting ideas and possible ICT, but I think with our small highschool writing center is is hard to create a full ICT program because there are so many other requirements in our curriculum.

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  7. The article "Locating The Center: Exploring The Roles Of In-Class Tutors In First Year Composition Classrooms" was a very interesting article that I personally enjoyed reading. In-Class tutoring has always been something that I have supported so it was really nice to get another viewpoint on this topic. This article focused on how writing centers can help as first year tutors, and their methods were very insightful. Basically, Writing Center consultants are found in classes, presumably English, to help students with what they specifically need help with. This could be a very big step for not only our writing center, but writing centers everywhere. Just having consultants with classes will make students more comfortable with Writing Centers, gaining participation in consultations and also making the students more comfortable with the ideas of gaining help. The authors write, "Roaming seems to have the benefit of establishing a more comfortable classroom. Tutors in favor of roaming think that the role of a tutor is to establish personal connections with students in order to open communication, which leads to a better conversation about their papers" (De Loach, et. al. 5). Overall, I think this article provides great insight to the ways that writing centers can help with tutoring.

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  8. The article "Locating the center: Exploring the roles of in class tutors in first year composition" was very interesting. I obviously support in class tutoring, it's amazing use of both the consultant and client time. Yet it also depends on how many people are in the class and how many tutors are provided. There are some pros and cons to this idea. Having less students and more consultants is more effective. The research was solid and credible,the survey information was very useful. Saying that in our presentation we are conducting surveys. This very helpful for not just our writing center but also writing centers as a whole. Having in class consultations consultations improves students writing skills and also they become more suitable to writing centers. This article has great ideas on writing centers and ways they can improve.

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  9. I enjoyed reading, "Locating the Center: Exploring the roles of In-Class Tutors in First Year Composition Classrooms." I liked how the article was a hybrid between a case study and a article as its format. The article had not only qualitative data but quantitative as well. This added to its legitimacy and helped enhance its points. I am really supportive of in-class consultations. In class consultations help create a "communicative bridge between the instructor and student" and helps student with their writing. I think in-class consultations would differ from regular consultations when it comes to dynamics and atmosphere. In a regular consultation, the student comes willingly; but in in-class consultations, students get Writing Center's help wether they want it or not. This could be both positive and negative. On the negative side, it could result in awkward and stunted consultations. On the positive side, it can introduce students to Writing Center that they otherwise wouldn't have learned about it. An in-class consultation also has a different atmosphere than a regular consultation. In a in class consultation, Consultants have to adapt to the power structure of a classroom. Consultants have to navigate the "the spectrum between teacher and student." Overall though, I believe more permeant in-class consultations would be good for the Writing Center. It would help publicize Writing Center, introduce teachers to new forms of teaching writing, promote exploration of writing, and continue to have students work and assist their own peers.

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  10. “Locating the Center: Exploring the Roles of In-Class Tutors in First Year Composition Classrooms” by Scott DeLoach, Ebony Breaux, Elyse Angel, Kevin Keebler, and Kathleen Klompien introduces the placement of writing center consultants into regular English classrooms to increase availability of WC skills and promote literary growth. While the idea itself appears highly plausible, collaboration between student and consultant ought to be fully welcomed by both parties, and should not impose a shadow over students who are reluctant to share their work. In addition to my personal experiences with in-class student tutors, I agree with the statement that “‘those who come to the writing center actually want help,’ whereas in the classroom ‘tutors face students that aren’t willing to share or discuss their work’” (Exploring the Roles of In-Class Tutors). In-class tutoring can leave clients feeling awkward and uncomfortable, but students are also weary of accepting the aid of their peers in skepticism of their capabilities compared to that of their teachers. The MHS Writing Center has already explored in-class tutoring to an extent, and results vary in terms of students’ perspective.

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  11. When reading the article, "Locating the center: Exploring the roles of in class tutors in first year composition" there were many great points about in-class tutoring. I do agree with in-class tutoring, however; the amount of clients to consultants would be a major concern. The task at hand would be much easier to accomplish if there was the same amount of clients to consultants. The in-class consultation would run much smoother with the ratios being the same or at least close to even. I think that the survey information was very helpful in showing the information. It made the article seem much more credible. The in-class consultations would better the students and their writing skills. I think that the writing center can take this information, and use it to help better the program. Overall, this was a great article with many ideas on how to make the writing center a more effective program.

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  12. The article “Locating The Center: Exploring The Roles of In-Class Tutors in First Year Composition Classrooms” by Scott DeLoach, Ebony Breaux, Kevin Keebler, and Kathleen Klompien consists of a lot of favorable information. However, not all of this information was entirely compelling and thought-provoking. Moreover, I concluded embedding tutors into the classroom beneficial. Placing peers, for the most part, in struggling classes would bring more success than considered. For one, students may feel more comfortable asking someone with lesser an authority than the teacher. I, for one, would feel less pressured when confronting someone closer to my age regarding questions and concerns. Even if they weren’t peers, having extra people in the classroom to assist students would prove more effective than harmful. With Mattawan Writing Centers in question, I think we could assemble days to institute consultants in english classes with perpetually struggling and unmotivated students. This would give us the chance to approach them in an open manner all while having the interaction perform more casually than an actual consultation. While having a more casual setting, I feel as though students would be more open with sharing their work and asking questions.

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  13. I really enjoyed reading "Locating the Center: Exploring the Roles of In-Class Tutors in First Year Composition Classrooms" by DeLoach, Breaux, Angel, Keebler, and Klompien because I believe it had very relevant and relatable information on the tutoring levels within writing courses. The article really focused on the interaction between the client and consultant and how it varies due to certain expectations established before the consultation. As it says " the expectations of ICTs and faculty are aligned...and it frames how we interact with one another". The piece also provides a tremendous amount of statistics and data to support the the roles of students. Another relatable point that parallels my personal experiences within the writing center is the willingness of the client and attitude towards each consultation. When the article states, " even with clear expectations we found that misunderstandings, ambiguity, and resistance are still present". If the client has a positive attitude and willingness to want to participate with the writing center then the process becomes smoother and easier to structure the communication. The MHS writing center has certainly been exposed to the different interactions that are exposed with each consultation because no client is alike. Furthermore, I think that our program could really benefit from some of the in-class options available and the effectiveness it could bring to the writing center itself.

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  14. Reading the article "Locating the Center: Exploring the Roles of In-Class Tutors in First Year Composition Classrooms" was very interesting, it mainly focused on the student and tutor relationships, and how the relationship really effects the way the consultation will go. In this article, it's mentioned that the expectations of ICTs and the faculty should be aliened. I feel like this is important with any student tutor relationship, especially in the writing center. It goes on by saying ".... because our expectations frame how er interact with on another." This is one main idea that holds the writing center together. Embedding new consultants in a block class might be challenging at first, but it also can give a new ideas to the experienced tutors to work with other students. This brings in the ideas of having clear expectations of each person in the consultations. Overall, reading this article was very eye opening , and our writing center can benefit from these ideas.

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