I joined the Marian E. Wright Writing Center in the Winter of 2021. The semester before, I had taken ENG 363, the prerequisite to becoming a tutor at the Writing Center. When I started the class, I was not sure at all that I would want to be a tutor. I had previously tutored math at Mott Community College. However, I knew tutoring math was going to be vastly different than tutoring writing.
While taking ENG 363, I learned all sorts of cool things about the writing process, body language, and tutoring. Despite all the helpful things I was learning I still wasn’t sure that I had what it took to be a writing tutor. My biggest fear about tutoring was that I just wasn’t good enough at spelling to make the cut. I’d struggled with my spelling ever since I was in elementary school. I’ve come a long way since then, but I still thought it would be a barrier to my ability to tutor English writing.
However, during the course of the class, I learned that being a perfect writer is not a requirement to being an effective tutor. Our job as tutors is to help writers fine tune their own words. It doesn’t matter that I struggle with spelling. What matters is that I can listen. I don’t have to know everything. I just have to know where to find it, or who to ask. With the spelling, I’ve learned to look online to figure it out. In a way, I’m just the middleman between the writer and the knowledge they need to write. So, whether you’re a writer, or someone who is thinking about becoming a tutor, the Writing Center is a safe place for imperfection. Come on in!