The Writing Center at Ball State was excited to host tutors and instructors from local high schools that were beginning their Writing Centers. Yorktown High School visited virtually, and Burris Laboratory School tutors hopped on the campus bus to come to Ball State and interact with our writing center tutors.
The Peer Tutoring Day began with the high school tutors pairing with our Ball State tutors and having a mini writing center session. Each group had a writer (high school tutor) and a tutor (BSU tutor) work on a piece of writing while other high school tutors observed the session. Then, the small groups discussed the strategies the BSU tutor used in the session and brought these observations to the whole group discussion. Next, the small groups, tutors (High School and BSU) brainstormed effective tutoring strategies to use in their writing sessions. These strategies included: giving clear feedback, authentic praise, starting with writers’ concerns, and practicing empathy. These strategies are effective for writing center session, but writers and tutors also discussed how they could be effective in their futures beyond their centers as well.
Furthermore, this event provided the high school instructors and tutors an opportunity to 1) see a different tutoring spaces and 2) interact with tutors from other schools. They also gained insight into how Ball State’s center worked, and their counterparts center worked. They collaborated on issues that happen in their centers and shared experiences.
With a great response from our first Peer Tutoring Day, plans are in the works for next year’s event, which hopefully will bring even more high schools and their tutors to our campus.