A blog for tutors to share their ideas, experiences, and insights.

Category Archives: PSU Berks

When I did my first post here on TutorMusings2, I was rather uncomfortable. I was in no way a stranger to blogging, but writing for a group of people I knew were in a similar situation to me was awkward. Now that we’re here at the end of the blogging though, I still don’t feel comfortable doing it just because I haven’t met most of you face-to-face. I feel like Internet connections only truly work and are efficient after you’ve met in person. If I had known everybody in the blog I might have been more inclined to share more personal details than I had previously divulged. I would be less hesitant to just skim on the surface and I would have delved deeper into the nitty gritty of tutoring. My biggest challenge with blogging actually became remembering to read everybody’s posts weekly. It wasn’t that they were bad or boring in any sense, but I always felt like blogging should be done where, if you’re going to follow a blog, you do it where you read it when you have time, not as a demand. Having a blog to read weekly presented itself as a really strong challenge, but I eventually caught on to it and I’m glad that I did. I enjoyed listening to all of your experiences and hope at least some of you will continue with this as the journey continues for all of us.

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I liked this form of blogging. I had started my own blog on wordpress over the summer so I was used to the format and felt more comfortable writing in this atmosphere. I feel like I express more of what is on my mind through a blog. In a class full of people I know, I might be a little more quiet or more careful of what I say. On a blog I don’t fully know who my audience is other than that they’re college students, I feel like there’s more freedom on here. Although I know our professors will be looking at this, it doesn’t feel like big brother is watching. Therefore, my tone for blogging is just how I think. However, I still feel the need to write slightly formal.

I liked that this gave us an opportunity to talk to students from other campuses in a similar class. We were able to hear different opinions and have discussions through the comments. It was like Peer Tutors 2.0 being able to connect with other writing centers. It would be neat if we could actually see the other classes through something like Skype and have a class discussion that way. However, this could be better because then everyone would get a chance to talk.

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I found our virtual classroom blog insightful. I enjoyed both discussing the appropriate role of a tutor with everyone and also sharing my idea of what tutoring is.  Blogging is becoming something that everyone does in one way or another.  With the increased popularity of Facebook and Twitter no person after our generation will ever not know what a blog is.  I can also say that my parents never used a blog and I would be surprised if they knew what one was.  I think that for most students, as tutors, we are all comfortable speaking our mind and sharing our thoughts and ideas on paper.  So speaking honestly and frankly on this blog was not a challenge for me.  blogging

One of the best parts of this experience for me was reading some of the posts from students on other campuses.  I think that the idea of combining different communities of students are what makes blogs like this successful.  I have read several articles that were very interesting and insightful.  I also read a few blogs that I did not agree with.  Either way I always walked away from the exchange feeling that I had learned something new.

I also wanted to include this picture in my post.  I was searching the internet the other day and I came across this picture on someones blog.  I thought that this was a perfect wordle to explain our experiences blogging.

It was great sharing with everyone and I wish you all luck on your future endeavors.


When I was asked to write a blog for this class, I was scared – what if I learned no new strategies? What if everyone on the site had found some revolutionary way to create a connection with their students that they were tutoring and I couldn’t? When I was applying to be an RA I absolutely dreaded our mock mediation sessions – afraid that I would never be able to give anyone advice while everyone else could. I was afraid I couldn’t apply what I had learned to a real life session. When it came to writing this blog, I can say I felt a little bit better having gone through a similar situation before but I still didn’t know what to expect.

I have written blogs in the past but never to people I didn’t know in other universities. And never was it a requirement for other students to comment on what I had to say. I think that was probably my most favorite thing about this blog posting – putting up my ideas for people I didn’t know to read and agree or disagree. Regardless of the comment and it’s relations to what I was saying, I didn’t care, I just wanted there to be some type of conversation that had sprouted from my words. I think my tone of voice was similar to how I usually write blogs – it is personal, it is conversational, there is no dialogue so it is somewhat proper but it is how I feel a blog should be written and I am very much comfortable with it. I have been from the beginning.

 

 


Commenting last week on biggbluee92’s post (not realizing I was supposed to post my own!), I had shared that my outstanding fear about the peer tutoring class was the blogging requirement. Reading somewhere a long time ago that at least 85% of things we fret about never actually come to pass, I had quite convinced myself that blogging would fall within the realized 15 percentile. Having been out of school for 35 years, and having taken 4 semesters to finally know my way around PowerPoint and Excel, I seriously was not looking forward to another keen reminder that, within the context of technology, I was indeed “out of the loop”. That thought, coupled with the painfully honest thought of “Who cares? I know I certainly don’t. I’ve got enough on my own plate”, led me to believe that I would dread the blogging assignments.

While I genuinely had no fear of communicating with an unknown audience, it was lack of interest that I was next concerned with. Quite the “solitary wasp”, I am probably the only person on here that doesn’t even have Facebook anymore. Don’t really care to know what everyone is doing every minute of the day, and vice-versa. BUT- I quickly realized that the refreshing difference is that when you are blogging to a specific community, you are blogging about things relevant to that community! DUH! Now I actually look forward to reading the blogs as well as the comments. As with my other technological hurdles, I have not only learned to use them effectively, I have embraced them.

 


For those of you that could not tell, this was my first experience with blogging. In fact, until a few months ago I would have insisted that I would never have a desire or need to blog. Guess I was wrong. At first I was extremely uncomfortable with the whole blogging concept but started to get the hang of it as the semester progressed. When we began I had no idea how to blog. It turned out that it was not as difficult as I first thought. Also I feel that I gained more momentum in my blogging with the reply portion because they required my opinions and I never had a problem with giving those. The biggest challenge that I faced was using a proper voice in my posts. My writing background is primarily technical and I struggled with showing my personality and voice.  These are two items that I worked at to remove from most of my writings.

The other aspect of blogging that I was not looking forward to was the fact that I would be making personalized posts to people that I did not know. My thought was that I did not feel confident enough to display my writings with a group that consists mainly of English/writing majors. This concern turned out to be groundless because I found myself looking forward to reading everyone’s posts and replies to my posts.

All in all I found this experience to be informative and not unpleasant. Will I ever blog again? I can’t answer that question because I never intended to blog prior to this semester. But I am grateful for this experience in case I ever need to blog in the future.how-to-blog


This is not the first time that I have used a blog for class. While I would say I am pretty familiar with using blogs, this is the first time that I have communicated with students other than my classmates. I liked the idea of being able to use our blog to share tutoring experiences and different strategies. When readings were referenced in the posts, I felt that what I was talking about in my classroom wasn’t “a waste of time”. It made it clear that we were all on the same page and that we were discussing the same topics. The discussions in the blog helped me understand the reason for what we were learning.

Writing for this blog was more challenging for me than others. I really had to take my mind off of “my class” and pretend that I was only talking to people I didn’t know. It was hard to find the balance between simply talking to other students and academic writing. I tried really hard to keep it right in the middle. Had I only been communicating with students I knew, I would have probably been a little less formal and may have even put less thought into the blogs. The question of what other students were saying about my posts would always cross my mind.

I think the community that developed through this blog was awesome. We were able to openly communicate with each other. We talked about what we liked and what we didn’t like, and it seemed like no one really took offense to comments that went against their opinion (which is something that may be a little more difficult face to face).  I enjoyed being able to communicate outside of class with other students who were learning the same things as me.