The more I think about my teaching philosophy the more it reminds me of my literacy autobiography. I feel like I'm supposed to show my former ignorance, and then show what happened to me that made me get to where I am now. I think in the teaching philosophy I can focus more on where I am now, which is good, but I also think I will learn a lot about myself by analyzing what the things that happened to me, because as of now I don't really know exactly what happened, I just know that I am better at tutoring. At least I think I am. I guess I also feel like there's a lot more for me to learn; that I'm not ready to write this teaching philosophy.
Some key events that happened: 1. I found out the difference between tutoring and editing. 2. I was scared to tutor--I felt like I didn't know how--I found out that tutors are supposed to keep the papers in the hands of the student, that we're not supposed to fix the paper, we're supposed to help the student become a better writer. 3. I was thrown into the job, I tried being a tutor instead of an editor and I loved it--it worked really well and the students always left with smiles on their faces. Freud in the Writing Center and Minimalist Tutoring both really helped me see and act out my tutoring in this way. 4. I tried editing my ex-girlfriend's essay and it sucked. It took me a really long time and she obviously didn't grow as a writer at all; she just took all my work so she didn't have to do any. This really showed me the difference between tutoring and editing.
That stuff is all how I arrived at my utopic teaching philosophy, but I kind of feel like I have a wrench in my spokes now. It seems like less and less students are down with the minimalist tutoring. They come in and they want me to tell them what's wrong with their paper. Or else they say they want to work on flow. Last week a student got mad at me when I tried to talk to him for the first ten minutes of the session. He said "aren't you supposed to read my paper to figure out what's wrong with it?" So I caved. I read his paper and told him my ideas. I don't think I violated my teaching philosophy, but the session turned out bad nonetheless. I gave him some suggestions and he argued with them. So what am I supposed to do? Did you just want me to tell you that your paper is perfect? His arguments made me question how much I knew about writing. But I did make it clear that they were just suggestions and opinions, not facts. I guess I learned that I can't fulfill the expectations that students have of having someone tell them what's right and what's wrong. I'm just someone to talk to about writing. I know a fair amount of knowledge about writing that I'm willing to share, I'm a warm body you can bounce ideas off, I can give you my opinions and different ways to look at writing, but the actual writing and decision making is up to you. That's all I'm able to do, that's all I'm willing to do, and that's all I have the patience for. If a student wants something else, he/she is going to have to go somewhere else to get it.Posted by hoga0094 at December 9, 2004 1:23 AM