Writing Center Tutor Manual Revised August 2018 English Department Washtenaw Community College Ann Arbor, Michigan
Copyright ÂŠ 2018 English Department, Washtenaw Community College. This book was produced using Microsoft Publisher. Fonts used are Garamond and Lucida Bright. Book design by Tom Zimmerman. All of the uncredited artwork used in this book was created by Writing Center staff, English Department faculty, students, friends, and other visitors for a recycled journal project undertaken by Writing Center Secretary Jessica Winn and Writing Center Director Tom Zimmerman in Spring/Summer 2016. Jessica photographed all of the journal covers and has been distributing the journals for free.
Writing Center Tutor Manual
Preface Welcome! Tutoring in Washtenaw Community College’s Writing Center can be a fun and rewarding experience that enhances your own life as well as the lives of many others. This Writing Center Tutor Manual is filled with policies, advice, information, and a bit of whimsy. I hope you find it a helpful guide. Other sources of information to help you perform your duties more effectively include me, other tutors, the instructors on duty in the Writing Center, the secretarial staff, the workbooks specific to each course, and other materials available in the Writing Center. The WCC Writing Center opened in 1976 and was located on the third floor of the Student Center Building until it moved to its present location, LA 355, in 1999 (or 2000—my memory’s fuzzy). I’ve had the pleasure of serving as Writing Center Director since 2004 (I’ve been teaching English at WCC since 1992). Of course, I inherited the Writing Center tradition of good will and service (along with some funkiness), and I’ve tried to keep that tradition alive with the changing times. I also inherited a Writing Center Tutor Manual, which I updated in 2004 and in 2009 and which after that survived in fragments on the Writing Center Tutors Resource Site on Blackboard. In late 2016 and early 2017, two Writing Center tutors, Meera Martin and Elizabeth Shillington, compiled and edited a much more complete tutor manual. This manual you’re reading now is a slightly updated version of that. If you have any questions about this manual, see me. Additionally, I encourage you to approach me with any ideas you might have to make the Writing Center better. I hope that you will enjoy tutoring and that this manual will help you with the tutoring experience. Feel free to stop in, email me, or call me. Tom Zimmerman Writing Center Director email@example.com 734-973-3552
Contents Preface Job Description Getting Started Job Responsibilities Signing Up for Direct Deposit Getting Paid Signing Up for WCC Alerts Working in the Writing Center Checklist of Daily Routine Checklist for Working with Any Student Brief Descriptions of the Writing Center Workbooks What The Writing Center Guide Tells Students Checklist for Working with a Student Who Brings a Writing Center Assignment Checklist for Working with a Walk-In Student Common Problems and Possible Solutions Policies on 3 Common Problems Advice from an Expert Advice from the Writing Center Secretaries How to Answer the Telephone Guide to the Computer Lab Working in the Computer Commons Being a Good Employee Being a Good Coworker Absences and Subbing No-Shows Emergency and Closing Procedures Emergency Procedures Closing Procedures Appendix Important Campus Phone Numbers Resources for Tutors WCC English Department Full-Time Faculty Literary Opportunities
4 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 28 29 30 33 34 35 36 37 39 40 41 42 44
Job Description Position Title: Position Is: Department/Office:
Writing Center Tutor Part-time, 20-hour week max English / Writing Center / LA355 / 734-973-3647
Position Description: Student worker to assess Writing Center assignments and assist walk-in students/faculty/staff with other writing needs. Job Duties and Responsibilities: Actively and courteously assist students/faculty/staff with their writing needs Evaluate and respond to Writing Center assignments that students bring in Assist students in the Writing Center computer lab, as needed Assist in the general maintenance of the Writing Center: keeping the space clean and orderly Answer the telephone politely and deliver messages Minimum Qualifications: A final grade of “A” in ENG 111 and/or ENG 226 Good writing skills Knowledge of standard grammar/punctuation/mechanics rules Knowledge of MLA and APA documentation styles Knowledge of Microsoft Word People skills: patience, kindness, empathy Be a currently enrolled WCC student (at least 3 credit hours) Salary/Hourly Rate:
To apply: Contact Tom Zimmermanfirstname.lastname@example.org | 734-973-3552 Include a resume and a paper you have written for a WCC class.
Job Responsibilities Be on time for work. Report all absences to the Secretary (734-973-3647) or the Writing Center Director (734-973-3552). Be familiar with The Writing Center Guide, which students receive during their Writing Center Orientation visit. Actively and courteously assist students who have Writing Center assignments or questions about the computer lab or the operation of the Writing Center. Evaluate and respond to Writing Center assignments according to the appropriate Writing Center workbook. Assist walk-in students (those who have come with assignments other than Writing Center assignments) with their writing. Place cover sheets in the correct box for recording. Assist in the general maintenance of the Writing Center: straighten reference books and chairs, keep the break room clean, and help the instructor with closing procedures. Answer the telephone politely and deliver messages. Remember that the instructor on duty is the person in charge. Get help from the Writing Center Director or another appropriate person when confusion or concern exists about matters related to the Writing Center or the job of a tutor. Turn in weekly timesheets to the Writing Center Director. Attend and participate in meetings and tutor training sessions. Participate in tutor evaluations. Perform other assignments and duties as directed.
Signing Up for Direct Deposit If you choose not to pick up your checks at the Cashier’s Office (across from the Student Connection) or Payroll (around the corner from the Cashier’s Office), you can have your paycheck directly deposited into your bank account. How to sign up: Have your WCC net ID and password, social security number, routing number, account number, and account type on hand. Log in to the WCC Gateway and go to MyWCC. Select the “Employee” tab.
Select “Payroll Direct Deposit.”
Select the option that pertains to you. You can also click “View Tutorial.” Follow the directions it gives. If you have any questions, you can go to the Cashier’s Office or Payroll or the Financial Services website page. FAQs and other directions are available on the wall across from Payroll. 9
Getting Paid Fill out Human Resources (HR) forms and payroll forms at the beginning of the semester. Know your student ID number. Fill in a time sheet (in basket below tutor mailboxes) each week with the hours you have worked. Submit this sheet to the Writing Center Director. Pay schedule is available under “Payroll” on the WCC Home- page, and a hard copy is posted on the orange pillar behind the tutor tables. Example below Washtenaw Community College Payroll Calendar ‐ 2018 Bi‐Weekly Pay # 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26
Pay Period Sat 12/23/2017 Fri 01/05/2018 Sat 01/06/2018 Fri 01/19/2018 Sat 01/20/2018 Fri 02/02/2018 Sat 02/03/2018 Fri 02/16/2018 Sat 02/17/2018 Fri 03/02/2018 Sat 03/03/2018 Fri 03/16/2018 Sat 03/17/2018 Fri 03/30/2018 Sat 03/31/2018 Fri 04/13/2018 Sat 04/14/2018 Fri 04/27/2018 Sat 04/28/2018 Fri 05/11/2018 Sat 05/12/2018 Fri 05/25/2018 Sat 05/26/2018 Fri 06/08/2018 Sat 06/09/2018 Fri 06/22/2018 Sat 06/23/2018 Fri 07/06/2018 Sat 07/07/2018 Fri 07/20/2018 Sat 07/21/2018 Fri 08/03/2018 Sat 08/04/2018 Fri 08/17/2018 Sat 08/18/2018 Fri 08/31/2018 Sat 09/01/2018 Fri 09/14/2018 Sat 09/15/2018 Fri 09/28/2018 Sat 09/29/2018 Fri 10/12/2018 Sat 10/13/2018 Fri 10/26/2018 Sat 10/27/2018 Fri 11/09/2018 Sat 11/10/2018 Fri 11/23/2018 Sat 11/24/2018 Fri 12/07/2018 Sat 12/08/2018 Fri 12/21/2018
Check Fri 01/12/2018 Fri 01/26/2018 Fri 02/09/2018 Fri 02/23/2018 Fri 03/09/2018 Fri 03/23/2018 Fri 04/06/2018 Fri 04/20/2018 Fri 05/04/2018 Fri 05/18/2018 Fri 06/01/2018 Fri 06/15/2018 Fri 06/29/2018 Fri 07/13/2018 Fri 07/27/2018 Fri 08/10/2018 Fri 08/24/2018 Fri 09/07/2018 Fri 09/21/2018 Fri 10/05/2018 Fri 10/19/2018 Fri 11/02/2018 Fri 11/16/2018 Fri 11/30/2018 Fri 12/14/2018 Fri 12/28/2018
Signing Up for WCC Alerts How to sign up for alerts: Log in to the WCC Gateway and go to MyWCC. Select the “Student Services” tab.
Select “WCC Alert.”
Read and approve the terms. Add the desired phone numbers and email addresses and follow confirmation directions. well.
Reminder: Whenever the main campus is closed, the Writing Center is closed as
You can also check if the campus is closed by going to WCC’s homepage or calling WCC’s School Closing Information Line at 734-677-5288. For more information, go to the “College Closing Information” page on WCC’s website.
Working in the Writing Center
Checklist of Daily Routine _____ Check the breakroom for food and drink. _____ Let other staff know you’re here. _____ Introduce yourself to any staff member you don’t know. _____ Check your mailbox for memos, etc. _____ Update the calendar, noting any absences or subs. _____ Check the Writing Center assignment deadlines for the day. _____ Work with any students who need help. _____ Let other staff know when you’re taking a break. _____ Keep the tutor tables neat and clean and quiet. _____ Remember that the instructor on duty is the person in charge. _____ If it’s slow… _____ Brush up on the workbooks. _____ Become an MLA/APA expert. _____ Read The Huron River Review, The Big Windows Review, or a WCC Poetry Club anthology.
Checklist for Working with Any Student _____ Greet the student; invite them to sit down. _____ Introduce yourself. _____ Learn the student's name. _____ Smileâ€Śchatâ€Śrelax: put the student at ease. _____ Ask the student how you can help them. _____ Read the writing carefully and with interest. _____ Listen attentively to the student. _____ Handle any interruptions with courtesy to the student. _____ Know your limitations; ask for help from another tutor or the instructor on duty if you need it. _____ Do your best to withhold judgments. _____ Compliment the student. _____ Offer suggestions for improvement. _____ Unless the student asks you not to, make sure that you write some comments on the paper; this is evidence that you were trying to help. _____ Refer the student to the Freebies section if they appear to have a recurring grammatical problem. _____ If the student has a Writing Placement Test/Writing Sample, let the instructor on duty know. Only faculty can assess these tests. _____ Report any concerns you might have about the student by filling out a Writing Center Referral Form. Youâ€™ll find these forms near the ENG 090/091 coversheet filing slots.
Brief Descriptions of the Writing Center Workbooks English 050 (Basic Writing I) 12 assignments Topic sentences Most assignments ask for one or two paragraphs of writing English 051 (Basic Writing II) Almost identical to English 050 book English 090 (Writing Fundamentals I) 12 assignments Topic sentences Paragraphs 5-paragraph essay English 091 (Writing Fundamentals II) Almost identical to English 090 book English 100 (Introduction to Technical and Workplace Writing)—currently an online class only 11 assignments Like a business-writing course: memos, resumes, business letters APA in-text documentation style Uses e-book English 111 (Composition I) 11 assignments Elements of the essay Research writing MLA/APA in-text documentation styles 6-paragraph essay ESL 168 (Advanced ESL Writing) Similar to the ENG 090 and 091 books, but with an ESL emphasis 15
What the Writing Center Guide Tells Students For WCC Students Enrolled in the Writing Center A special welcome to you! You’re our biggest customers! Because you’re enrolled in one of the following writing courses—ENG 050, ENG 051, ENG 090, ENG 091, ENG 100, ENG 111, or ESL 168—you have a required Writing Center (ENG 000) component that will consist of a series of writing assignments that will count as 25% of your final grade in your writing course. More details below. Getting Started in the Writing Center Come to the Writing Center during the first week of the semester for orientation. Listen to the orientation presentation and read this guide. Complete the orientation assignment and have it checked by a Writing Center staff member. Buy the Writing Center workbook for your writing course: ENG 050, ENG 051, ENG 090, ENG 091, ENG 100, ENG 111, or ESL 168. These workbooks are available at the WCC Bookstore on the first floor of the Student Center building. Note your Writing Center assignment deadlines, which are printed on pp. 2-4 of this guide. Things We’d Like You to Know about the Writing Center You’re welcome in the Writing Center anytime we’re open. You may complete your Writing Center assignments at home or in the Writing Center. You must have your Writing Center assignments checked by us on or before the deadline dates. You can work ahead as fast as you want; some students complete all of their assignments by midterm. We recommend that, instead of making a special trip to campus just for Writing Center, you come to get your assignments checked on a day when you’re already on campus for class—as long as you meet or beat your deadline dates. Laptops: We strongly prefer hard copies of any writing you bring to us. It’s difficult for us to help you if your writing is on your laptop. If this is the case, the best we can do is offer you suggestions on a sheet of paper. We cannot type on your laptop for you or tell you what to type on your laptop. If you want credit for a Writing Center Assignment, you must bring a hard copy of it. 16
We cannot accept late Writing Center assignments. If you have a late assignment, talk with your writing course instructor. Beware of bringing in an assignment less than a half hour before closing time. We cannot guarantee that we’ll be able to check it. Your Writing Center assignments are graded Pass/Fail and count as 25% of your final grade in your writing course. Your instructor receives frequent updates on your progress. Some Writing Center assignments must be typed. You may use the computer lab in LA 354 if a class is not in session there. If there is a line, you’re limited to 15 minutes with a Writing Center staff member who is helping you. We at the Writing Center are committed to providing friendly, compassionate, and knowledgeable support that will help you become a better writer.
Checklist for Working with a Student Who Brings a Writing Center Assignment _____ Be positive, kind, and supportive. _____ Ask, “Which assignment? How did it go?” _____ Ask, “Any questions?” _____ Read the student's writing. Ask questions. Talk with the student. Encourage the student to ask questions. _____ Check to see if the assignment follows the workbook directions. _____ Refer to the workbook directions to point out any errors. _____ If the student has not passed the assignment, tell them what to fix. _____ If the student passes the assignment, sign and date the workbook checklist sheet. _____ On the cover sheet, check the name, class, section number, and instructor name; make sure all is legible. _____ Sign the cover sheet legibly and tear it out of the student’s workbook. _____ Show the student what the next assignment is. _____ Make sure that you put the cover sheet in the correct box. _____ Be quick to refer any problem or question to the instructor on duty. _____ Note any issues that you think the student’s instructor should know about. Use the Writing Center Referral Form. _____ Students in “Y” sections (classes that start later in the semester) will probably have later deadline dates for Writing Center assignments. _____ Students in “D” sections (online classes) submit Writing Center assignments to their instructors via Blackboard. _____ Students in “M” sections (mixed mode/hybrid classes)submit Writing Center assignments to us.
Checklist for Working with a Walk-In Student (One Who Brings a Non-Writing Center Assignment) _____ Ask for a copy of the assignment that the instructor has given the student. _____ If the student doesn’t have a copy of the assignment, ask them what the assignment is. _____ Ask the student what the paper is about. _____ Ask the student what they want help with. _____ Point out errors (underline them, perhaps), or ask the student to tell you what’s wrong with sentences in which errors occur. _____ Don’t be quick to make the corrections; let the student do the work. _____ Fill out a Writing Assignment Feedback Form for the student. These half-sheet forms are behind the tutor tables.
Common Problems and Possible Solutions Problem
Deadline has passed.
Tell student to talk to their classroom instructor.
Student asks a question that you can’t answer.
Ask another tutor or instructor on duty. Consult an appropriate handbook.
Student hates this assignment.
Sympathize but say it’s for their own good.
Student has to catch a bus in 5 minutes.
Ask student to come back when they have more time.
Student has three screaming kids.
Try to smile. Distract kids with paper, pens, toys, etc.
Student says something terrible about their classroom instructor.
Try to remain positive. Tell student to keep an open mind.
Student has no Writing Center book.
Remind student to bring it in next time. Have secretary make a photocopy of needed pages or have student take pictures with their phone, but try to keep this to a minimum.
Student comes in 5 minutes before closing time.
Ask if it’s something that’s quick to check. Otherwise, be firm and say, “Sorry.”
Student becomes angry, and you feel threatened.
Stay calm. Refer student to the instructor on duty.
Student brings in multiple essays at one time.
Invoke the 15-minute rule and invite the student to get back in line if they want all of the essays checked. 20
Policies on 3 Common Problems Tutor Discretion for Passing Assignments It’s important that tutors be familiar with assignment guidelines when passing an assignment. Refer to the checklist if you’re unsure of whether to pass or not pass an assignment. If you’re still unsure, ask another tutor or the instructor on duty. Checking Late Work Tutors must adhere to the Writing Center Assignment deadlines posted on the tables unless there is a note on the assignment from Tom saying we can sign off on it. As tutors, our responsibility is to be aware of the deadlines and to double-check a student’s section number to make sure the assignment deadline has not passed. If the student’s instructor says they will accept the assignment late, it is the instructor’s responsibility to check over the assignment and enter the grade. We can always look at a late assignment and give feedback, but not credit. Typically, we look at a late assignment only if a student asks us to. Tutors do not have discretion to pass late assignments. Checking Work on Laptops It’s not uncommon for a student to come in and ask us to check an assignment on a laptop or other device. Most tutors don’t check work on laptops. As it says in The Writing Center Guide, “We strongly prefer hard copies of any writing you bring to us. It’s difficult for us to help you if your writing is on your laptop. If this is the case, the best we can do is offer you suggestions on a sheet of paper. We cannot type on your laptop for you or tell you what to type on your laptop. If you want credit for a Writing Center Assignment, you must bring a hard copy of it.” It’s important to remember that checking work on a student’s laptop can quickly become a liability issue. If you’re ever unsure if an exception to one or more of these policies needs to be made, see Tom or the instructor on duty.
Advice from an Expert Zach Baker has been a tutor in the Writing Center for nine years and is now continuing his English education at the graduate level at the University of Michigan. He has helped many students find their way and tutors learn how to work with students better. He has taken time out of his busy schedule to give some advice to tutors: You never know what the person on the other side of the table is facing. They could be dealing with an illness, learning difference, recent loss, familial or economic stress, and much more. Thus, it is important to withhold judgment and offer compassion. Having someone sit quietly and read your work can be intimidating and even scary for some students. Something as simple as smiling as you read the student’s work can go a long way. Try to interject positive comments as you read because many students that are struggling need not only technical help but also more selfconfidence. I guess my overall approach is summed up by the quote from Aesop: "No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted."
Advice from the Writing Center Secretaries Our two Writing Center Secretaries, Karen Karatzas and Jessica Winn, offer some advice: One of the biggest problems we have is that the cover sheets are not always legible. We occasionally get a sheet that isn’t even readable due to the poor handwriting of the student. If tutors could give a quick glance to see that they are able to make out what the name is, so that we are able to as well, that would help. Also, all too often, especially at the beginning of the semester, students are putting the wrong section number on their assignments. That means they are getting wrongly filed, resulting in students coming to us and wondering why they have no credit for an assignment they did. It may be one of two things: 1. It was wrongly filed by the tutor, even though it had the right section number on it, or 2. It had the wrong section number to begin with, in which case it’s not the tutor’s fault. But I’ve been emailing many students in the first month letting them know their correct section number. It just slows down recording is all. Please tear or cut the fringe off the cover sheets. It makes it easier for the secretaries to go through the sheets quickly.
How to Answer the Telephone While the secretaries answer the telephone in the morning and afternoon, they aren’t here in the evenings. Because of that, you’ll need to know how to answer the telephone. The secretaries usually forward calls from their telephone to the one behind the tutor desks, but sometimes they forget, and that is when you’ll have to go to their desk to answer it. How to answer either the tutor phone or the secretaries’ phone: If you’re not helping a student, answer it if other tutors are busy. If you are working with a student, and the other tutors are too, just tell the student, “Excuse me, I have to answer this call.” Make sure to get to the phone as quickly as you can. After picking up the phone, answer with something along the lines of, “Hello. Washtenaw Community College Writing Center. How may I help you?” Make sure that you speak clearly so the person on the other end can hear you; sometimes there isn’t a good connection or it is loud on either end. Do your best to answer the caller’s question. Sometimes it’s an easy question asking when we close; other times it may be harder. If you’re unsure of the answer, ask another tutor or the instructor on duty for help. When answering the call, make sure you have good customer service: be polite, be clear, be direct. Keep in mind how you’d want someone to help you over the phone. Don’t keep the person on the line waiting for an extended period of time. If you feel uncomfortable answering the phone, ask another tutor to take it. They will understand.
Guide to the Computer Lab Adjacent to the Writing Center, there is a computer classroom, LA 354, equipped with Dell computers. This room is available for student use during times when it’s not already used for classes or orientations. We recommend that students have their own USB thumb drive. They can also use Google Docs or email the document to themselves. They shouldn’t save their work on the computer hard drive. Part of your job as a tutor is to help students if they have problems in the computer room. Try to familiarize yourself with the computer room’s computers and other equipment. To put money on a student ID card, students will need to use the machine to the left of the printer. The machine accepts only dollar bills and silver coins. Signs on the machine will provide instructions. Sometimes the printer will go into “Energy Saver” mode. To wake the computer up, press the green button. After that, the student should be able to swipe their card to release their print job. Students can purchase a print card at the kiosk in LA 354, at the library, or at the Computer Commons. Cards cost $1 and come with $0.50 on them. There is no wireless printing in the Computer Lab, but there is in the Computer Commons. We do not have a communal print card. We have had one in the past, but it was stolen multiple times, so we no longer provide one. If you choose to allow a student to borrow your student ID to print, we advise that you supervise them and ask them to pay you back. Sometimes another student in the lab will allow the student to use theirs. We print only black and white in the Computer Lab, but students can print in black and white and in color in the Computer Commons. How to print: Select PRINT for your document. The computer will ask for the ID number. ATTENTION: This is where the confusion starts. It is not asking for the actual number. It is asking for the username, the part that comes before @wccnet.edu in your email address. If the student is using a print card, then the information the student needs to put in is the 6-digit number on the back of the card. 25
At the printer, the student needs to swipe the ID or print card with the magnetic strip facing up and to the left. The touch screen will provide the rest of the instructions. If a student reports a malfunctioning computer, please do the following: Report the problem to the Writing Center Director or the secretary. If neither person is available, report the problem to the Help Desk at 734-9733456. You can also contact the WCC/Applied Imaging Copy Center at 734-973-3556. Put a note on the malfunctioning computer. Be as specific as possible in describing the problem. Date and initial the note, adding the work-order number if the Help Desk has given you one.
Working in the Computer Commons Some semesters, a tutor will work in the Computer Commons, on the second floor of the Gunder Myran (GM) Building, above the Library, for ten hours a week. Those ten hours combined with the hours worked in the Writing Center cannot exceed 20 hours total. Computer Commons tutors receive the same pay as Writing Center Tutors. They primarily help students with the formatting of papers and documents. They do not check Writing Center assignments in the Computer Commons. They are supervised by a Computer Commons worker. See the Writing Center Director if you are interested in this position.
Being a Good Employee
Being a Good Coworker Be aware of the line. Most of us bring something with us—a book, a cell phone—to pass the time. While that can be great, because we do get lulls, it can also distract us from looking up at the line and helping students. Students will often wait until we call them up rather than walk up because they are worried they will disturb us because we look busy. If you bring something to pass the time, angle yourself so you can see the line and know when students are waiting. Don’t let one person do all the work. It can be tempting to sit at the end of the tables, but students rarely go down there unless called because they think you are there for a reason: not to be disturbed. Sometimes this is true. You have a huge test to study for, but you need the money and can’t take off work. Most of us understand and will do our best to take students so you can study or do whatever needs to be done. However, please let us know so that your coworkers don’t think you are not trying to do your job. But minimize this. Sit close to where other tutors are sitting and don’t let one person take all the students. It can quickly become exhausting for that tutor. Don’t bring friends with you to work. This doesn’t mean your friends can’t come to the Writing Center to work on a paper with you, or come to work at the Writing Center in general. It means don’t bring them to sit behind the tables with you. We are lucky to have such a relaxed work environment, but the Writing Center is still your place of work, and we have to maintain a certain professionalism. This goes hand-in-hand with being aware of students coming to get help. If you see students coming in and the other tutors are helping them, ask your friend to please sit at one of the tables so you can do your job; they’ll understand. Try not to take off work on short notice. This isn’t always possible. Emergencies come up, and life happens; we understand. If possible, let other tutors know you can’t make it. You can call the secretaries’ desk, the tutor table, or send out an email. If you aren’t going to show up for your shift, please let someone know. Don’t take time off from work and not tell anyone.
Let someone know when you’re leaving. It can be the instructor on duty or another tutor, but let someone know when you’re going to leave the Writing Center for a break. We never know when we’ll get hit with a rush, and knowing that we will have one more person makes everyone feel better. Try not to contradict other tutors. Unfortunately, this is one of the biggest problems we have in the Writing Center. Each tutor focuses on different specifics when it comes to writing, and that can make it confusing for students who are getting feedback from multiple tutors on the same or similar writing. Do your best to build on what a previous tutor told the student, and add in your own suggestions as well. In addition to this, make sure you don’t contradict an instructor. It’s best to defer to what an instructor has told a student. Remember, we help students with their writing, but we don’t assign grades, and our word is not final. At the end of the day, our job is to follow the guidelines set down by the instructors. Engage with your fellow tutors. Engage in the breakroom Battle of Wits. Talk to the people around you when it’s slow. You can always learn something from someone else. Help the new tutors. They’re just as freaked out as you were when you started. Enjoy your time here. You probably won’t find another job as flexible and relaxed as this one. We’re fortunate to work here. Learn as much as you can while you’re here. You get to work with all kinds of people, from students with disabilities to returning students to international students. You get to work with a group of smart, supportive, understanding people. You get to work with instructors who will go out of their way to help you. Learn what you can while you’re here. Don’t look at tutoring as just another job, or even just another tutoring job. Look at it as an opportunity to learn and expand your skills. Working at the Writing Center can be a rewarding job if you commit to it. Remember that Tutors report to the Writing Center Director AND the instructor on duty. 31
Absences and Subbing Reporting Absences In order to make sure the Writing Center is functioning at its best, please be sure to report absences as soon as possible. This can be done 3 ways: Send an email to let the rest of the crew know you’ll be gone. You can do this by hitting “Reply All” to the latest email that the Writing Center Director has sent out to everyone. You can also email everyone through the Writing Center Tutors Resource Site on Blackboard. A second option is to fill out a slip and leave it near the whiteboard behind the tutor tables. Make sure to include the day you will be gone and the hours available. If you’re going to be gone multiple days, please fill out one slip per day. If you’re going to be gone for more than two or three days, please use an 8.5x11 sheet of paper with the dates and times you will be gone. A third option is to call the secretaries’ desk at (734) 973-3647 or the tutor table at (734) 677-5441. Subbing If you are subbing for another tutor, there are a few things to keep in mind: Make sure you don’t go over the 20 hours per week cap. If you are going to go over, make sure you get permission from the Writing Center Director first. To avoid confusion, make sure that everyone knows you are subbing for someone else. You can do this by either clicking “Reply All” to the email sent out or by filling in your name on the sub slip behind the tutor tables. If you sign up to sub or to come in when we need extra tutors, please make sure you show up for your shift. We never know when we might get a rush. Having everyone show up for their shift helps to make sure that tutors aren’t overwhelmed and students aren’t impatient with us after waiting in a long line.
No-Shows It’s extremely important that you show up for work, or tell someone when you won’t be coming. We have had incidents where none of the tutors scheduled to work have shown up for their shifts. This creates unnecessary stress for the instructor on duty and makes us look unprofessional. If there is ever a time when it looks like there will be no tutors for a shift: Let the instructor on duty know as soon as possible. Let Tom know. If he isn’t in the Writing Center, you can reach him on his home phone, 734-995-1562, or text him on his cell, 734-838-7007. Send an email out to all tutors asking if anyone can come in last minute to help. It may be best in this situation to “Reply All” to the latest email the Writing Center Director has sent out. Don’t forget to change the subject line.
Emergency and Closing Procedures
Emergency Procedures Fire Alarm Goes Off Remain calm. Your main concern should be people. Evacuate the Writing Center. Escort any person in a wheelchair to the proper assembly point (by the southwest stairwell), and notify Security by calling 3411. Try to stay with any disabled person until Security arrives. Those who need help will be carried downstairs by Security staff. Others should try to carry a disabled person only in a dire, life-threatening emergency. People who are visually impaired will need to be escorted downstairs. A Fire in the Writing Center Remain calm. Your main concern should be people. Evacuate the Writing Center. Do not use the fire extinguisher unless all exits are blocked and the fire is inhibiting safe evacuation. Don’t try to be a hero! After you’ve gotten everybody (including yourself) out, sound the fire alarm if it hasn’t been sounded, and call Security (3411). Tornado Alarm will sound, or there will be a public address announcement. Remain calm. Evacuate the Writing Center. Everyone should take shelter on the ground floor, away from any windows. Disabled persons should take the elevator to the ground floor and assemble at the designated area. A Student Is Hurt or Passes Out Let the instructor on duty know. Call Security (3411) if necessary. 36
Closing Procedures Warn students 15 minutes before closing. Do not stay past closing time to evaluate student papers. If you have to turn students away, have them see the Writing Center Director when they get a chance. The instructor on duty is the person in charge and should be the last one to leave. Please assist the instructor on duty with these closing procedures: Writing Center Director’s Office _____ Turn off the lights. _____ Make sure the door is locked. Computer Room _____ Turn off the lights. _____ Lock the door. _____ Do not turn off the printer or computers. _____ Straighten up as needed. Copy Machine Room _____ Turn off the copy machine. The toggle switch is on the front right-hand corner of the machine. _____ Straighten up as needed. _____ Turn off the lights. _____ Make sure the door is locked. Break Room _____ Turn off/unplug the coffee pot. _____ Dump remaining coffee in restroom sink and rinse out pot with water _____Coffee grounds and filters are compostable. Tub is below the coffee maker. _____ Straighten up as needed. _____ Turn off the lights. _____ Close the door. Writing Center _____ Straighten up the tables and chairs. _____ Return reference books to their proper places. _____ Make sure that “tutor” computer and “PowerPoint” computer are turned off. _____ Straighten up the Chill Room. 37
_____ Make sure all students are out. The instructor should be the last one to leave. _____ Turn off the lights. _____ Make sure both doors are locked. This includes the “back” door. Call Security, extension 3411, if you need the door locked or any other kind of assistance. Tom’s home number is 734-995-1562. Tom’s cell phone number is 734-838-7007.
Important Campus Phone Numbers If you are using a campus phone to call a campus number, all you need to use are the last four digits. If you are using a campus phone to call an off-campus number, press “9” before the number. Help Desk (IT Support)
Krantz, Carrie (English Dept Chair)
Zettelmaier, Heather (ESL)
Zimmerman, Tom (Writing Center Director)
734-973-3552 734-995-1562 (cell) 734-838-7007
Resources for Tutors General Writing Center Tutors Resource Site On Blackboard Writing Center Website sites.wccnet.edu/writingcenter English Department Website english.wccnet.edu Grammar and Style Purdue OWL (Online Writing Lab) owl.english.purdue.edu/owl Grammar Girl www.quickanddirtytips.com/grammar-girl Research/MLA/APA Bailey Library Research Guides libguides.wccnet.edu MLA (Modern Language Association) www.mla.org/MLA-Style APA (American Psychological Association) apastyle.org ESL
Heather Zettelmaier (head ESL instructor) 734-477-8967 Office: LA 330L email@example.com Tips for Working with ESL Students www.cgc.maricopa.edu/Academics/LearningCenter/Training/Pages/ESL Students.aspx Ten Tips for ESL Tutorials writingcenter.unc.edu/faculty-resources/tips-on-teaching-esl-students/tipsfor-writing-tutors
WCC English Department Full-Time Faculty Barrie, Maryam Phone: 734-973-3737 Office: LA 300 D E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Foss, Betsy (ESL) Phone: 734-477-8939 Office: LA 330 J E-mail: email@example.com Green, Margaret Phone: 734-973-3310 Office: LA 300 W E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Jones, Kim Phone: 734-477-8588 Office: LA 200 G E-mail: email@example.com Kissel, Julie Phone: 734-973-3561 Office: LA 300 Q E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Krantz, Carrie (Department Chair) Phone: 734-677-5104 Office: LA 300 F E-mail: email@example.com Levitt-Phillips, Hava Phone: 734-677-5332 Office: LA 200 J E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org 42
Miller, Jean Phone: 734-973-3598 Office: LA 230 F E-mail: email@example.com Mullalond, Mary Phone: 734-477-8968 Office: LA 330 G E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Querijero, Ernesto Phone: 734-973-3521 Office: LA 300 V E-mail: email@example.com Veasey, Lisa Phone: 734-677-5265 Office: LA 300 M E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Waskin, Dave Phone: 734-973-3346 Office: LA 300 P E-mail: email@example.com Zettelmaier, Heather (ESL) Phone: 734-477-8967 Office: LA 330 L E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Zimmerman, Tom (Writing Center Director) Phone: 734-973-3552 Office: Writing Center E-mail: email@example.com
Literary Opportunities If you have an interest in poetry or creative writing or encounter a student who has an interest, consider the following opportunities at WCC. Many tutors have been or are a part of these various groups. All are led by Tom Zimmerman.
The Huron River Review
WCC’s award-winning annual literary magazine. Open to submissions of poetry, fiction, nonfiction, artwork, and photography from WCC students, faculty, and staff, from September through January every year. Publishes in the spring. Website: thehuronriverreview.wordpress.com WCC Poetry Club A club for anyone interested in poetry. Meets in the Writing Center on Fridays, 5 pm in Fall and Winter, 1 pm in Spring/Summer. Website: wccpoetryclub.wordpress.com
The Big Windows Review
Formerly Blood Orange. The Writing Center’s zine of the beautiful and the strange. Accepts poetry, short prose, and visual art. Publishes irregularly. Website: thebigwindowsreview.wordpress.com