What Working At The Writing Center Has Taught Me

I didn’t even realize there was a Writing Center at my college until my first year seminar professor told the class about it a couple weeks in. Someone may have mentioned it during orientation or on one of the tours I went on before coming to Siena, but there was so much information being given that I had no recollection of it. I am very glad my professor told us about it because I tend to be shy before I get to know people, so I wouldn’t have gone on my own. Being tutored not only helped my grades, but it also helped me evolve as a writer in general.

As my writing skills developed throughout my freshman year, I was given the amazing opportunity to start working at the Writing Center in the fall of 2018 as a tutor. Prior to becoming a tutor I had to take a writing class and do community service tutoring at a local high school. Even though I’ve only had close to a year of experience, I feel like there are many things I’ve learned as I became more involved with the Writing Center.

Some of things I learned are…

1. Don’t be shy

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I already confessed that being shy gets the best of me at times, but I have been working on being a more outgoing person! There are many different types of tutoring styles and I have found that for me, what works the best is trying to be more outgoing and talkative. Meeting a new person and asking them for help can be a difficult thing to do, so talking can make things a lot easier for both the tutor and tutee.

2. Communication is key

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This goes along with being outgoing, because you need to have good communication skills in order to assist people with their work. If there is no communication, then no progress will be made during a tutoring session! Tutoring has taught me that communicating with others is what makes the tutoring effective and efficient.

3. Be open to new things

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I know not everyone wants to take time out of their already busy schedules to go to the Writing Center and talk to a stranger about an assignment, but it really does help in the long run. As tutors, we try to help people become better writers, which can help them in their schoolwork and in life for the future.

4. Don’t take constructive criticism to heart

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Sometimes it’s hard not to take things to heart, especially when the feedback is coming from a stranger. There are so many amazing ideas people have and brilliant writers! Tutors aren’t there to just tell you what’s wrong with your paper, we’re there to try and help you. Just know we aren’t pros either (even though some may be), I know I’m definitely not. It took me a long time to become the writer I am today and I still have a ton of learning, work and time to put into my writing so I can become better at it.

These are just a few out of the many things I have learned while working at the Writing Center. For me, it's been extremely useful and I would definitely recommend going to the Writing Center at your college!