Writers, Tutors, Teachers, Oh my!

Discussion (with Alvin Madden-Grider) at Southeastern Writing Center Association – Kentucky Conference held Sept. 20, 2013, at Eastern Kentucky University Noel Studio.

What happens when your National Writing Project site gets into the tutoring business? Come join our conversation about the pros-cons of marrying an NWP Writing Studio with a Tutoring and Learning Center in order to support a reinvented (reborn?) Writing Center. We will chart our journey and discuss the perils and promises of our unique program model.

I direct the Morehead Writing Project, a local site of the National Writing Project and one of 8 Kentucky Writing Project sites including one located here at EKU, and run the MWP Writing Studio (learning communities focused on writing). The mission of the National Writing Project is to improve the teaching of writing from kindergarten through college. The Morehead Writing Project centers our work toward that goal around two essential goals – teachers (and tutors) who write make better writing mentors (and that is how we see the role of the writing teacher – I do not call myself a writing teacher – I say that I teach writers) and so the second essential goal is dedicated to sustaining that focus on the teacher as writer – first we make our teachers writers and second we continue to feed the writer (teachers and students alike) through our various outreach programs. So that is what I bring to our unique collaboration. I come to it from an English and educator centered background which is different than Alvin’s focus. We like to think our experience and focus complement well but only time will tell.

What are the ideal qualities of a writing tutor – and why?

Reflect – share your thoughts with someone from another institution and decide what questions/ideas you want to bring to the larger conversation.

Now let’s talk about writers. What is a writer? What makes a “good” writer? When (or how) did you know you were a writer?