Tutoring the tutors
I’ve been working with a dynamite group of tutors at Keene State. They give so much to other writers. But I’ve noticed they’re less familiar with professional writing genres than they are the academic ones that comprise their daily fodder. That’s probably true for many college students. And because good writing strategies don’t necessarily transfer from one situation to another without some coaxing and coaching, I’m starting to pay attention to this gap in the comfort levels.
Lack of familiarity with professional genres matters for the occasional sessions where students may seek help with resumes, cover letters, internship or graduate school applications, teaching portfolios, and so forth, but I’m equally concerned to help our staff become comfortable writing in these pragmatic ways for themselves. I want these remarkable tutors to be able to use writing as a means to move on from their work for the center, to gain access to different professional and intellectual roles.
So I’ve been doing informal advising/tutorials with tutors, especially the seniors. I might snag a tutor for a brainstorming session, asking, “So what do you want to do after graduation?” Often, tutors initiate tutorials: “Take a look at my philosophy of education,” or “How do I explain about tutoring in my resume?” Those sessions can be really fun and productive.
Here are a couple of resources I developed to help tutors make the transition to new professional situations.
I’m interested, too, in learning about more resources for tutors as they leave or augment their writing center work.