In an effort to build community among secondary school writing centers and to provide more opportunities for directors to collaborate, SSWCA is pleased to announce our Digital Roundtable Series. Each month, SSWCA member schools are invited to join us for an informal discussion via GoogleHangouts. Each month’s topic and guiding questions will be announced in the month leading up to the roundtable.
On Tuesday, February 13, SSWCA President Kate Hutton hosted the first SSWCA Digital Roundtable, which focused on planning and proposing sessions for SSWCA’s Seventh Annual Secondary School Writing Centers Conference, “Process and Progress.” Kate Hutton of the Herndon Writing Center (VA), SSWCA Vice President Trisha Callihan of the Eagle Writing Center at Osbourn High School (VA), and tutor leaders Abbie and Arleigh of the West Springfield Peer Tutors (VA), participated in this month’s roundtable.
The following notes were generated from our conversation.
Potential Proposal Topics for Directors + Tutors
- How does your center build empathy for clients or tutees?
- How do you encourage teachers to trust your tutors?
- How can tutors help to support and sustain a center as directors transition out/in?
- How do centers recruit and retain tutors?
- Who are your tutors?
- Does your staff represent your student body?
- How do you recruit tutors?
- How do you recruit tutors from groups who are under-represented in your staff?
- Writing workshops: scheduling, promotion, effectiveness
- Hot topic: group session tutoring
- How do you train tutors to tutor in groups?
- How do you prepare tutees/clients to be tutored in groups?
- What structure(s) are in place for students to students sign up to be tutored in the center? How do you manage these?
- Paper sign-ups
- Digital sign-ups
- Decentralizing the peer tutor center
- How do you make the best of an inconvenient location?
- How do you establish yourself as a learning center if you aren’t able to officially label yourself a “center”?
- How do you manage competing tutoring services in your school community?
- How do you implement incentive programs to encourage students to be tutored?
- Party for class that has highest % of attendance at center during time frame
- Random prize drawing for a student who has worked with a tutor (i.e. basketball game tickets, Prom or Homecoming tickets, etc.)
- Random prize drawing for a teacher whose student(s) have worked with a tutor
- Tutoring as Labor
- How do you prepare tutors for the emotional labor of tutoring peers?
- How do you and your tutoring staff build morale?
- How do you encourage tutors to respect professionalism policies & tutor outside of school hours?
- How do you implement tutor liaisons to teachers and academic departments?
- How do you develop community and a sense of belonging among your tutoring staff? (And how do you avoid tutor cliques?)
- Tutor trees or tutoring families
- Tutor houses similar to Hogwarts houses
- How do you promote your center?
- 50 cent poems
- Cookies and Composition
- National Day on Writing Celebration
- How do you budget and fundraise when you have no budget?
- If your staff of returning tutors are working on SSWCA proposals, what do you do with Seniors and non-returning staff?
- Herndon – Legacy Project (Seniors and non-returning staff propose and implement a sustainable component to the writing centers
- Experienced tutors prepare binders with resources for tutoring every subject
Suggested Resources for Research
- Data compiled by your center. This may include:
- Sign-in sheet data
- Post-conference evaluation data
- Tutoring Logs
- Tutor observations
- Teacher interviews
- Tutor interviews
- The Peer Review
- Writing Center Journal (This link will take you to JSTOR. You will need to log in with your institution’s credentials.)
- WLN: A Journal of Writing Center Scholarship
- Tutor training manuals, including:
- The Bedford Guide for Writing Tutors (Ryan and Zimmerelli)
- The St. Martin’s Sourcebook for Writing Tutors (Murphy and Sherwood)
- A Tutor’s Guide: Helping Writers One to One (Rafoth)
- Tutoring Writing: A Practical Guide for Conferences (McAndrew and Reigstad)
Save the Dates for Our Spring 2018 Digital Roundtable Series:
Wednesday, March 14, 2018 7:30 pm- 8:30 pm EST
Thursday, April 26, 2018 7:30 pm- 8:30 pm EST
Saturday, May 19, 2018 1:00 pm-2:00 pm EST
Tuesday, June 12, 2018 7:30 pm-8:30 pm EST