I am currently an instructor’s assistant for an undergraduate Writing Center Pedagogy & Praxis course at the George Washington University. The students of this course are keeping their own public blog wherein they critically reflect upon what they are learning both in class as well as in the Writing Center as they learn how to become writing tutors for other GW students. I have found myself greatly impressed by many of the thoughts and insights they have shared on this blog (as well as in class) but I wanted to share this one here, with all of you, because I particularly appreciate the sentiment expressed within it.
In too many academic communities I have found and heard of writers living in a near-crippling world of secrecy, suspicion, and paranoia — of writers desiring to keep their writing secret from other writers for fear of thievery or plagiarism rather than seeking to share their writing with their colleagues and to build a community of trust and constructive review with them. This blog beautifully encapsulates the type of environment that is achievable within academic circles if academics take the time to respect and appreciate each other and each other’s work.
Our Pedagogy and Praxis class is probably my favorite class of the semester. Yes, I enjoy the theories on tutoring and breaking down the writing process, but what I really love are the people. The future tutors in our class. The current tutors in the writing center. Our professor. Us.
Every person in our class brings something unique to the table. We are a classroom of characters who at the least, generate interesting discussion, and at the most, form a hodge-podge family. Each one of our personalities is so different, and this directly relates to how each of us tutors and feels about tutoring. Together we represent a wide variety of ideas, approaches, and perspectives.
The sense of community I feel in our classroom is one that I think transcends into our writing center as well. Just as with our class, I walk into the writing center and I feel…
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