Date: March 7, 2012
To: undergraduate and graduate students (all colleges) of the University of Washington, Seattle
From: Jenny Halpin, Odegaard Writing and Research Center Director
Re: POSITION ANNOUNCEMENT - Tutor (part-time or substitute) at Odegaard Writing and Research Center for work beginning as early as March 2012 and potentially continuing through June 2013, depending on applicant’s academic status.
We seek applications — from undergraduate and graduate students in all fields who will be enrolled at UW Seattle during the remainder of the 2011-2012 academic year and, ideally, through the 2012-2013 academic year — for the paid position of either part-time or substitute peer tutor in the OWRC, an interdisciplinary writing and research center which aims to support UW Seattle students, staff, and faculty on their diverse writing and research projects through 45-minute, one-to-one tutoring sessions.
Pay rates depend on academic status: undergraduates and pre-MA or pre-MS graduate students start at $10.00/hour; post-MA or post-MS graduate students start at $15.00/hour.
Responsibilities of an OWRC Tutor include:
- full participation in training sessions to develop theoretical and practical understanding of the OWRC’s mission and tutoring guidelines
- a regular weekly work schedule of one-to-one tutoring sessions, with shifts of no more than 4.5 hours per day for a total of 0.75 to 19 hours per week (based on terms of employment and desired hours)
- committed one-to-one tutoring sessions in which the writer’s needs and goals are privileged
- electronic documentation of the work of each tutoring session
- participation in observation and assessment by OWRC administrators
- collaborative work with teams of OWRC administrators and other peer tutors — as well as Odegaard Undergraduate Library staff and other UW Seattle faculty and staff — to develop new ways to enrich the teaching and learning environment across the University
Qualifications for this position include:
- previous tutoring or mentoring experience (perhaps especially with diverse populations)
- excellent interpersonal communication skills, including genuine interest in the intellectual lives of fellow learners
- ability to identify a writer’s difficulties, prioritize concerns, and successfully communicate complex strategies for resolving them
- demonstrated academic success in chosen field of study
- broad knowledge of useful research and writing skills (and the academic strategies associated with different fields)
- interest in larger ongoing projects of the writing center, including workshops and conference presentations on innovative support for learners
- enrollment, part or full-time (at least 6 credits), at the University of Washington
1. Please submit the following:
- a letter of application, with attention to both your qualifications for and reasons for interest in this position
- a curriculum vitae (CV), indicating your range of academic and professional experience (please do not submit a résumé)
- a writing sample, no more than five pages in length (may be a fragment of a longer text), which demonstrates your success as writer (all academic genres welcome); please include a head-note with a brief description of the context (writing situation) in which you produced the piece.
2. The above materials must be submitted electronically (combined as a single MS Word document or PDF) to this Catalyst Collect It site: https://catalyst.uw.edu/collectit/dropbox/owrc/20485 under “Application materials”
If you have technical difficulties, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Hardcopy or emailed applications will not be accepted without specific approval from the OWRC Director.
3. Applicants are encouraged to submit early; this is a rolling hiring process, and earliest qualified applicants will be considered for Spring Quarter 2012 start dates. Applicants are welcome to bring materials in for writing center appointments. Reserve your spot online at https://depts.washington.edu/owrc/signup.php
Please be aware of the fact that this is a very competitive hiring process. We are looking for applicants with a genuine and demonstrated interest in bettering the culture of writing on this campus and in serving their peers.
4. Questions regarding applications may be sent to OWRC director Jenny Halpin at email@example.com
To demonstrate our firm belief in the value of writing in multiple different forms, we have provided an alternate version of this job description below. This description was collaboratively written by current OWRC staff members:
“Mostly what we do is talk.
A good tutor knows how to ask the right questions to get writers talking – about their projects, about their ideas, about their classes, about what they’re trying to accomplish, about their own past experiences. In our perfect world, all the writers we work with become more confident, more independent, more comfortable with but also more sophisticated about their own writing and learning.
We joke that we’re trying to work ourselves out of a job.
We never know what the next one-to-one session will bring. A returning student drafting the methods section of his Master’s thesis in Nursing. A new freshman from small-town Washington working on her first English composition paper. A native speaker of Mandarin putting the finishing touches on a dissertation chapter on nanotechnology. A first-generation college student trying to control a really unwieldy chemistry lab report. A senior finance major brainstorming ideas for his upcoming business competition speech. A mechanical engineer revising a how-to guide for her robotics team. Lots of it is new to us. It gets more comfortable with training, with experience. We learn to trust in the expertise of the writer, because trying to pretend like we have all the answers for all the wildly disparate writing projects people bring to us… that way lies madness.
So we talk. It doesn’t have to be hard. Most writers just need someone who will read their work thoughtfully and be interested in helping them develop it further. And we listen. Really listen. A tutor who isn’t genuinely interested in all the crazy things people are working on around here doesn’t last long. We offer ideas – strategize and troubleshoot, discuss the work they’ve done and what they still might do, brainstorm ideas for what questions to ask instructors, model a new skill, provide our responses as readers to what they’ve written so far, help make sense of other feedback they’ve gotten.
It means we have to be pretty flexible, always customizing our tutoring to the needs of the writer we’re working with at that moment, always figuring out new types of writing. It means we have to be relaxed and approachable, patient, so the writer feels like she can really say what’s on her mind. It means we have to have a kind of quiet confidence in our own thinking, research, and drafting practices so that we know what to share that might help the writer out. But we also have to cultivate the ability to learn from all the writers we work with so that we can round out our own creative problem-solving skills.
OWRC staff members have all sorts of synonyms for ‘tutor’: mediator, therapist, translator, buffer zone, navigator, advocate, strategist, mentor, co-learner. We prize in each other a wide knowledge base, top-notch communication skills, critical thinking, creativity, teamwork, intellectual curiosity, and shared commitment to supporting the writers who seek us out.”
We look forward to reading your application.
The University of Washington is an equal opportunity, affirmative action employer. To request disability accommodation in the application process, contact the Disability Services Office at 206.543.6450 / 206.543.6452 (TTY) or firstname.lastname@example.org