I am just finishing the semester with ENG 408B: Tutoring Student Writers. In that class, I try to not only provide students with sound theoretical footing and practical experience but also engagement with real discussions within the field. Early on, when we were working to get a handle on the broad-stroke roles and practices of writing center consultants, I asked them to read Trimbur’s “Peer Tutoring: A Contradiction in Terms?” paired with Brooks’ “Minimalist Tutoring: Making the Student Do All the Work” because, together, these pieces provoke questions about writing consultant authority, which I played against nondirectivity and Socratic dialogue. These have been consistently provocative and engaging conversations with these concepts and sources because there is no simple or single right answer.Read More
Our work in “Disrupting Authority: Writing Mentors and Code-Meshing Pedagogy” describes the idea behind—and the plans for—combining a course-embedded writing tutors program and code-meshing pedagogy at our small, private Historically Black College (HBCU) in order to challenge language hegemony in the writing classroom. The article was the first time either of us had attempted co-authoring. Writing in the plural “we” felt a little strange, especially at first. We wrote most of the paper side-by-side in Cecilia’s office, alternately talking or typing. Because identity (and identity in language) is such an important part of our topic, we wanted to discuss our experiences in co-authoring in a way that let our individual voices be heard. We thought a chat might do the trick.Read More
In our article, “When Writing Fellows Become Reading Fellows: Creative Strategies for Critical Reading and Writing in a Course-Based Tutoring Program,” we discuss methods for engaging First Year Writing students in critical reading and writing practices through a series of small group session plans we called pivot points. Reflecting upon this work pushed us to develop new ways to engage students, led to two regional conference presentations, and ultimately, the writing of this piece.
As we were writing, we found ourselves thinking about ways to sustain the collaborative and reflective aspects of our fellows' work. For Melissa, this meant continuing to use the momentum from the five fellows (all graduating seniors) from the fall 2013 semester into the summer and fall 2014 semesters. For Ricky, this meant applying fellows' practices during his own transition to a graduate program in information management and systems.Read More