Writing Center Staff Learns to Instruct and Inspire

This November, students and faculty from St. John’s Writing Center attended the Secondary School Writing Centers Association’s annual conference at George Mason University.
The conference was attended by hundreds of writing center directors, student staff members and peer tutors from across the country, with most sessions led by students who work in their schools’ writing centers. St. John’s attendees included Marie Gelso, English teacher and director of the SJC Writing Center; Matt Petersen, English teacher; and SJC Writing Center staff members Liam de Beaufort ’19, Emily Place ’19 and Liana Harris ’19.
The Writing Center at St. John’s is staffed during homeroom and all lunch periods by English teachers. The Writing Center is not an editing service; rather, students can come in with any writing assignment from any class and get feedback on a draft or talk through the writing process. Students can either walk in or schedule an appointment ahead of time.
This is the first year that the SJC Writing Center has added student staff to serve during homeroom and after school. This small group of seniors has undergone training for how to conduct writing appointments and give guiding feedback to help their peers communicate their ideas effectively. At the conference, the St. John’s students attended workshops such as “Getting to Know Growth Mindset: A Better Approach to Learning” and “Personalities Within the Writing Center and How to Tutor Them Effectively,” which provided instruction on how to approach consultations in the Writing Center.
“The conference exposed me to a larger community of writers and left me feeling prepared to innovate and inspire at the St. John’s Writing Center,” de Beaufort said.