Ethnographic Vignette: What I learned so Far…

Over the course of the semester, I have written some field notes on the writing center, interviewed some people, and observed some sit-in sessions. I have dedicated some hour each week to better answer the questions; “‘What is your tutoring experience?’ , ‘How has your personality shaped your tutoring experience?’, ‘Is their human experience established in the process?’, and ‘What is subconsciously learned through the process either about yourself or the tutee?’”.

The biggest take-away I’ve gained through my research is that the tutoring process is really a reflection of who the tutor is as a person. Every tutor is different in terms of their personality, background, values, and beliefs. Thus, their tutoring process is a reflection of the essence of who the tutor is. What they encompass inside exudes in their process of how they communicate to those they help, respond to questions, and keep the session engaging and productive.

In turn, the tutee reflects what the tutors project outward. If the tutor for any reason is shy and quiet, the tutee will more likely be more reserved. However, if the tutor is outspoken and engaging, then the tutee will more likely be open to talk more. Synergy is huge in these experiences and reciprocity is ultimately established.

I have personally enjoyed these types of observational research. I’ve seen some great sessions whee the energy was booming with the conversation. I have also seen some sessions that were more robotic and technical. Each experiences has been different from the other. However, it is interesting that each session has brought me to same conclusion stated prior. Never would I have thought that “a tutoring experience is actually a reflection of who a tutor is” would be the common denominator of my findings, but that’s the beauty in exploring a subject of interest.

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