September 14, 2005
well, I've got to say that my first session went much better than I ever could have imagined...I felt all set to go before I came into the center, but when I walked in I was much more nervous than I thought I would be...might have had something to do with getting about three hours of sleep the night before, up at five a.m....
at September 14, 2005 12:49 PM
but I'm not sure if it would have mattered if I was fully awake or not; the student that came in needed encouragement more than anything else...her ideas were solid, she just wasn't used to writing the sort of paper that her prof. was asking for...and as an ESL student, she was uncomfotable with some of her grammer...however, most of that grammar was fine, just minor mistakes, the kinds of mistakes we all make, so I stayed away from that, focused on the positive....we ended up reworking and reorganizing her ideas to make the paper a little more solid, following the form that she was expected to use for this essay...
I think the most effective thing we did was work on the strength of the language she was using...like I said, she had a lot of great ideas, but she was introducing them with phrases such as 'I think,' 'I would guess,' etc....when we changed a few choice words to give her argument a more athoritative tone, the tone her paper and her ideas deserved, it seemed like she felt a lot more confident in her writing, her ideas, and this essay...
I've got to say, it was a lot easier than I thought...she's going to come back in when she gets the essay back and starts working on the next one (she has like five more of the same assigment the rest of the semester) so maybe it'll turn out that her prof. wasn't as happy with the essay as she and I were...regardless, I think this was a great place to start, this building confidence in a writer...it was her work, and it was good work; she just needed a little nudge to see how good it was, how close she really is to writing a damn good essay...
Ben, thanks for sharing this first session success story with us, and kudos! Your story is a great example of the power of praise and tutor interest in a student's work to raise her confidence and get her focused on revising. I like your comments too about her mistakes being "the kind of mistakes we all make," since that's so true. We are all human, and trying to communicate our ideas to others in writing is challenging (so easy to sound wishy-washy, leave words out, be unclear, whatever). It's nice that you and the student were able to look ahead and talk about her future papers, because in those future meetings you and she can continue to dissect the prof's expectations and talk about ways to meet them, now that you've built this initial trust.
Each person has his/her own strengths. Only that some hasn't realized that and needs to discover it. But sometimes we only lack the confidence to believe in our own strength.
The girl's professor could be the way for her to discover her talent in writing and to enhance it. You could help her building self confidence since you believe in her. She just needs to believe in her own capabilities to let out her talent.
She needs words of encouragement and motivation constantly. She could have the tendency not to believe in herself because of the result she gets from her professor.
If she has the potential, then she could be losing the opportunity to show it. She must be encouraged and must be well-motivated to enhance her skills.
Building confidence may be a bit hard. We need to be encouraged sometimes and let other people realize our capabilities for us before we believe in ourselves.
On the other hand, it feels good to be able to help others in building confidence. It's good to encourage them to believe in themselves. But we have to be sure that we ain't losing our own confidence.
She needs to be more positive with herself and believe in her capabilities. Once she gets positive, she will be more motivated to work better. She should release her negative feelings, thoughts, etc.
Sedona Method is an effective way in releasing. Many individuals have tried and spoken how great they felt because of the Sedona Method.