USF Writing Studio

Archive for January, 2015


Negotiating the Teacher-Consultant Identity

Monday, January 12th, 2015 | Posted in Uncategorized by dmfarrar | No Comments »

Working in the Writing Studio is one of the most fulfilling teaching opportunities that I’ve had while working on my Master’s degree at USF.

When I began teaching last year, I found that my one-on-one student conferences were the most enjoyable aspect of the First-Year Composition program. Those ten minutes spent with each student, getting to know their project at a more intimate level, and familiarizing myself with their writing process—rather than relying on the projection of my own—was incredibly eye-opening and helped me structure the ways that I approached classroom discussion and activities. Because they were my students, I was able to develop better working relationships with them and could see growth in their work over the semester, in some cases, just in brainstorming strategies, but in others, a greater depth and understanding of what it means to be a rhetorically situated writer. 

What is different about working in the Writing Studio is that the writers we work with are not usually our students. We have no explicit connection to their work beyond the assignment guidelines and the glimpse of writing and process that they bring into their consultation. We may not see tremendous growth in one session, but we can be there to guide and facilitate their thought process and help suggest revisions that might improve the quality of the writing while pointing out patterns of error that are inhibiting the clarity of the writer’s work.  The most rewarding experiences that I’ve had with writers are those who sign up for multiple appointments. Especially when writers are working on personal statements, the level of growth from week to week is usually apparent. That the writers are willing to trust our advice as consultants, experiment with different writing styles, and incorporate new ideas into their work clearly shows how collaboration and writing studio pedagogy can work extremely well in helping to coach writers as they familiarize themselves with writing processes. 

By Caitlin Klueber, MA in Rhetoric and Composition

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