Creating Independent Student Writing Groups

The LIU Writing Center & Writing Across the Curriculum Program will present a workshop next week (Tuesday November 10, 11-12:30, Pratt 120) on creating independent student writing groups. Harriet Malinowitz will be leading the workshop, but more significantly, five of her ex-students (from English 14) will be giving a presentation demonstrating how a student writing group works (and answering questions). Prof Malinowitz would like to encourage all tutors to attend if possible, and especially encourage those who signed up saying they'd like to be trained to facilitate student writing groups.


National Day on Writing 2009

A special thank you goes out to all of you who supported and participated in LIU's very first National Day on Writing on October 20. Among many other events--including poster displays, two readings, a writing career panel, etc.--the ARC hosted a postcard table, the Writing Scavenger Hunt, and the wildly popular Post-it Wall. The campus community even created our own online gallery of writing, Voices at a Crossroads. It was so exciting to be part of this cross-campus initiative. It gave us a chance to show off the diversity of writing happening across our campus. I know next year will be even bigger.

Thanks again for participating. Check out some of our pics.


Seymour's Baby Shower

Hi gang,

Yesterday we had a rousing good time at Seymour's surprise baby shower, wonderfully organized by Nikki and Michelle N. We had an absolute blast: Good company, good food, and good music. Pictures can be found here, but wait - there's more! There's also the wonderfully rendered video:


Friends, Romans, Tutors & Staff...lend me your eyes

Hi my lovely ARC-ers,
Happy new year and new semester! Well, the semester is off and running. You may have noticed we waited a little longer to register your students. We've discovered that we get fewer schedule changes that way. Hopefully this will make your first sessions run a bit more smoothly. Special thanks to Seymour & Michelle and the rest of our front desk staff for the huge task of organizing, registering and calling all of those students - and we have a lot of them this semester.

A few things for you:

  • Everyone: We will have our first Common Time meeting next Wednesday, February 4th, from 3-4pm. Please join us. You'll notice that we've blocked off this time on your schedules. As usual, if we are not meeting, you can use that time to take walk-in students. We'll try to meet at least twice a month.
  • Everyone: If you haven't given us your schedule yet, please do this immediately. I'm going to be addressing how many new tutors to add to our family. I don't want you to lose hours because we give them to someone else. For those of you who are still out of town/country, please give us your schedules as soon as you return.
  • Tutors: I'll be looking for new undergraduate tutors. Please recommend any promising undergrads who you think would be a great addition to our family. You know best what the demands of the position are.
  • International Students: Please submit your F-1 letters immediately. We cannot schedule you without them.
  • Grad students who are still interested in GA-ships: please send me an email confirmation. Please notify me soon if you receive GA's in any other departments. Remember, the University doesn't allow you to be on more than 2 contracts or budgets. Unfortunately, we only have a few to go around.
  • Alumni: We love you, but we need to replace you. I know, there's no replacing you, really, but if you can give me recommendations, I always appreciate those. When offering up recommendations, please consider how well these applicants will fit in to our ARC family.

Happy tutoring! And have a great semester!



winds of change

Hello my ARC lovelies,
Please join us next Tuesday, January 20th in the ARC. We'll be watching the live telecast of the inauguration of our new President, Barak Obama. There will be treats and door prizes and friendly faces. What better way to start off the spring 2009 semester?!

We'll start the telecast at about 11am, and the inauguration commences at 12. Drop in anytime throughout the afternoon.

If you'd like to bring treats (like mint, chocolate brownies...hint, hint), as always, the more the merrier.
Hope to see you there,


ARC Holiday Party

Hiya, gang,

As many of you know - since many of you were there - last Thursday was the ARC Winter Party. I put a camera in everyone's faces, so I took some video and shot a few (bad) pictures, which I cobbled together into a little movie. You all are so cute and adorable and photogenic, I can't stand it.


did someone mention Socrates?

Here's a great article about what Socrates might have to say about what we do.

Thanks to everyone for participating in today's Winter Party. As usual, it was a blast. I'm sure someone will be Facebooking (I love that it's now a verb) the pics very soon.

Enjoy the winter break and I hope to see you all next semester!


prodigal tutor

I always LOVE when our alumni tutors keep in touch, especially when they come back to visit. I want to welcome back our own Nishat Mirza, on Weds., Nov. 26, for a floating, open discussion session. She is now completing her first semester at Drexel University's College of Medicine in Philly.

She'll be here to talk with students about going to medical school: how to get in, what the options are, Drexel's Pathway to Medical School program, and her own experience at Drexel.

Please invite your students to come to speak with her. She'll be here from 11am-4pm. So tell them to drop in at any time during those hours.

It'll also be a great time for us all to catch up. See you there!


turning techie

Here's a great article about bringing technology into the classroom. I think it's worth thinking about how we can use technology in our center to help our students learn. So many of them are very savvy when it comes to texting, emailing and IM-ing. How can we use those things to improve what we do? As we talked about in our last Common Time, we've been working with the Math Dept to offer ALEKS, a self-paced, online math tutorial, to more of our students. I'd like to offer more.

So I wonder if any of you have ideas about how we can infuse more technology into what we do.



the demands of tutoring

In furtherance of our on-going discussion from our last Common Time about "demanding" and/or "manipulative" students, here's a great response and some words of wisdom from a tutor on the Dangling Modifier's website. While most of our students are engaged and excited to be part of our center, a few of them continue to require extra effort from us.

We're not the only ones who are challenged by these situations, so we should keep in mind that discussion is one way for us to mediate and navigate these moments. By remaining sensitive to our tutees' needs, we keep ourselves open to understanding why they behave the way they do.

As I always say, tutoring goes far beyond covering course content. We are cheerleaders, coaches, mentors, friends, role models, sherpas, and listeners.

what happens in vegas...

Hi everyone, we're back from the IWCA/NCPTW conference; it was great. It was my first time in Vegas, and it was all that I expected. Actually, since the visit coincided with Halloween, the bright lights seemed even more sinister. I was hoping to get out of town to see the desert, but the conference was non-stop. Great sessions, great connections. It's so good to see that we're part of a much larger community of tutoring centers across the country (indeed, the world...it's an international conference).

The thing I appreciated most of all was the large number of tutors who attended. It was so nice to get tutors' perspectives on the important work that we do.

Special kudos go out to our very own Michelle "Solly" Solomon for her conference poster presentation entitled “Sociology as Training: The Sociology Being Used In Tutoring Reflection & Analysis.” Michelle did an exceptional job and represented our University beautifully. Yay, Solly! We all need some celebratory mint chocolate brownies, don't you think?

Hopefully, we can get her to share her experience and ideas with us all very soon.

See you all tomorrow at Common Time!


Making Tutoring Creative!

Hello Tutors! I think that by making the learning process more interesting, enjoyable, and creative for our students, who we tutor is the key for a successful learning experience. Tutoring should be creative! Of course, how creative we are depends on the student's learning style. Creativity means that we ask the students what do they think is the answer to their question? If they are on the right track, we can ask them to expand on their answer by asking them to provide example(s). If they are on the wrong track, a tutor should provide hint(s) and then, let the student figure out the final answer. Like Courtney said at the meetings, we are there to facilitate the learning experience and not give out answers to all of the questions. It's a team effort. A tutor and a student are a team. A tutor is trying to figure out what learning method will be the most suitable for this student and a student makes sure that he or she understands the material very well. So, let's open up our creativity and therefore, make tutoring creative! Also, we should motivate the students by saying, "Keep on working hard." "Success is a journey, not a destination."

considering kindness

So late the other night (I couldn’t sleep, as usual) I was listening to a radio discussion with one of the authors of a new book called Leading with Kindness: How Good People Consistently Get Superior Results. In the context of business management, he talked about ways we all can use “kindness” to motivate, support, recognize, adapt and grow. Much of their management/leadership ideas are based on psychological theory—essentially, that people are more productive when we treat them with caring, fairness and honesty, but that kindness does not also equal weakness or lack of discipline. Pretty logical, I think.

Since so much of what we do in the ARC is leading and teaching by example, I wonder if we begin to think about how we can lead with kindness—understanding, compassion, acceptance—then can we enhance the way we tutor? So much of our tutoring pedagogy already includes much of what these writers are proposing, so tutoring fits right in to this philosophy of helping others to help themselves—giving others the tools they need to succeed on their own.

While I’m not proposing that we begin to think about our tutees as employees, our students as products, and what we do as a business, I do think that we can glean something from these ideas that can open our tutoring horizons and offer us fresh ways to examine what we do.

For example, we can consider what brings our students in to our center and what keeps them engaged. Then, what can we do to help them grow and become better learners. In addition, thinking about the cross-cultural implications of practicing kindness, especially in a Center like ours, can be invaluable.

So anyway, if you’re interested in reading or hearing more about these ideas, you can check out this website:
http://www.thirteen.org/leadingwithkindness/essays/the-power-of-kindness. Or you can listen to a webcast with the authors here: http://www.amanet.org/editorial/webcast/archive/2008/leading-with-kindness/index.htm



Hello my lovelies,
Here's a link for those of you who are interested in writing tutoring/consulting. http://www.peercentered.org/ It's a great venue to chat with other tutors about their work.

il son parti

Hello ARC Gang,
The semester is off and running and I see your schedules are nearly full already. It's going to be another busy fall semester. We have many new members joining our ranks. I would like you all to welcome them to our team! We had our first day of orientation today, and I'm sure they're all excited to get started tutoring. In the spirit of cooperation and ease that defines our little ARC haven, please introduce yourselves to them and welcome them with open arms.

Some of you have already been chosen to act as mentors for the new tutors. They will begin observing your sessions on Monday. Don't worry, there's no judgment here -- they'll just be watching how you handle your sessions so they're not totally unfamiliar with their own.

New tutors, thank you again for meeting with me today. It was good to see your excited faces. I have faith that you will all do very well and become integral parts of our Center. In preparation for your observations next week, I'm attaching a list of questions/ideas for you to think about while observing the session. We'll meet later in the week to discuss what you observed. I'm sending it out to everyone also; it'll provide us a starting point for our weekly meetings.

Also, remember our Common Time meeting will be held on Wednesday, Sept. 17, from 3-4pm in the ARC.
See you all very soon.Enjoy the weekend,