my faculty experience

A Writing, Teaching and Tutoring Life

Caren Baldwin-DiMeo is assistant director of the Student Learning Collaborative and an adjunct professor who teaches a writing course. She earned a Master of Fine Arts degree in creative writing from Emerson College and continues to write for publication. Baldwin-DiMeo finds her jobs as a synergy of her interests.

We've got a nice student body with a lot of different goals. One of the things I was brought on to do was work with the student tutors and professionalize their role here. To that end, I'm developing a training program that will lead to certification for the tutors. They'll get certification through the College Language and Reading Association (CRLA).

Tutors Need Recognition, Too

I think certification for tutors is important because tutors do a lot of work and they deserve some recognition for that. I think it's also important to understand that tutoring is an educator position. Being an educator requires that you continue to develop.

Tutoring is such a nice resume piece for someone coming right out of college. It's professional in nature, and jobs for college students that are professional in nature aren't all that easy to come by. It shows a significant amount of dedication.

I enjoy working with tutors because of their dedication. They are really interested in helping their peers, and I think there is something so pure about that. It's something they don't have to do but they want to do it. They have a passion for their own learning and they enjoy extending that and sharing that with their peers.

How do we work with Students?

I'm also developing the philosophy of the writing services at the Student Learning Collaborative: how do we want to work with students? I'm looking at how to extend our services to students with all levels of expertise so the student who's getting an A minus and wants to get an A or the student who needs an audience for her writing in order for it to improve to the student who is really struggling and needs some help with their writing.

I also do writing consultations. One of the things I'm building on here is a study skills piece. I'll do one-on-one study-skill consultations. We're looking to develop programming so that we may be able to have group study-skills session.

Hardest on Myself

My students should know that I'm nowhere near as hard on them as I am on myself about the writing process. I do expect them to revise, and I think that's a crucial part of writing because that's what makes writing different from speech--the ability to go back and revise it. I expect them to care about language and hopefully care about the words that they choose to express things.