Date: May 28, 2014
To: Undergraduate and graduate students (all colleges) of the University of Washington
From: Jenny Halpin and Peter Freeman, Odegaard Writing and Research Center Director and Coordinator
Re: POSITION ANNOUNCEMENT - Tutor (part-time) at the Odegaard Writing and Research Center for work beginning in September 2014 and continuing through June 2015 and beyond, depending on applicant's academic status and availability.
We seek applications -- from undergraduate and graduate students in all academic fields who will be enrolled at UW during the 2014-2015 academic year -- for the paid position of part-time peer tutor in the OWRC, an interdisciplinary writing and research center which aims to support UW students, staff, and faculty on their diverse writing and research projects through 45-minute, one-to-one or group tutoring sessions, workshops, and other programs.
Pay rates depend on academic status: undergraduates and MA or MS graduate students who have not yet completed that degree start at $10.46/hour; post-MA or post-MS graduate students start at $15.00/hour.
Responsibilities of an OWRC Tutor include:
- Full participation in all preliminary and ongoing training sessions to develop theoretical and practical understanding of both the OWRC's mission and tutoring best practices
- A regular weekly work schedule of one-to-one and group tutoring sessions, with shifts of no more than 4.5 hours per day for a total of 0.75 to 19.5 hours per week (based on terms of employment and employee availability)
- Committed to writer-focused one-to-one and group tutoring sessions
- Electronic documentation of the work of each tutoring session or other OWRC activity
- Participation in regular observation and professional development led by OWRC administrators and peer mentors
- Collaborative project-based work ("task groups") with teams of OWRC administrators and other peer tutors -- as well as Odegaard Undergraduate Library staff and other UW faculty and staff -- to improve internal programs and to enhance the teaching and learning of writing and research across the University
Qualifications for this position include:
- Enrollment, part or full-time (at least 6 credits), at the University of Washington during each quarter of employment
- Previous tutoring, coaching, or mentoring experience (perhaps especially with diverse populations)
- Excellent interpersonal communication skills, including genuine commitment to the interests and goals of fellow learners
- Ability to work with others to help them identify their strengths and difficulties as writers and researchers, prioritize their concerns, and successfully navigate complex strategies for working through those concerns
- Demonstrated growth and/or academic success in chosen field of study
- Familiarity with useful research and writing skills (and the academic strategies associated with different fields)
- Interest in and readiness for larger ongoing projects of the Writing and Research Center, including task group projects, workshops, and research into and articulation of writing center practices and programs (e.g. through conference presentations or scholarship)
The application process includes two steps.
Step 1. Complete the online application form here
Step 2. Submit all the following materials to the dropbox listed below as one document:
- A letter of application, addressing your reasons for interest in this position and how your past academic and professional experiences prepare you for OWRC tutoring
- A curriculum vitae (CV), indicating your range of academic, professional, and volunteer experience (please do not submit a résumé)
- A writing sample of no more than five pages in length (this may be a fragment of a longer text), which demonstrates your success as writer. All academic genres welcome; samples must include a head-note (one substantive paragraph) describing the context (writing situation) in which you produced the piece and a description of what you learned about yourself as a writer by completing it and now reflecting on it.
The above materials must be submitted electronically (combined as a single MS Word document or PDF) to this Catalyst dropbox: OWRC Tutor Hiring - Fall 2014 under "Application materials for Fall start"
If you have technical difficulties, contact email@example.com
Hardcopy or emailed applications will not be accepted without specific advanced approval from the OWRC Director.
The deadline for consideration for a Fall 2014 start date is June 30, 2014. Applicants are welcome to bring materials in for writing center appointments prior to submission. Reserve your spot online on our Make an Appointment page.
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 both in bettering the culture of writing on this campus and in serving their peers.
Questions regarding applications may be sent to OWRC director Jenny Halpin or coordinator Peter Freeman at firstname.lastname@example.org
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 researchers and writers talking – about their projects, about their ideas, about their field, about what they’re trying to accomplish, about their own past experiences. In our perfect world, all the people we work with become more confident, more independent, more comfortable with but also more sophisticated about their own research, 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 first-year student 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 grant proposal for her team's new robotics research. 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 or mentors, 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 or researcher we’re working with at that moment, always figuring out new types of projects. It means we have to be relaxed and approachable, patient, so the learner 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. But we also have to cultivate the ability to learn from all the writers and researchers 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, shoulder-to-lean-on, translator, buffer zone, navigator, advocate, strategist, mentor, co-learner. We prize in each other top-notch communication skills, critical thinking, creativity, teamwork, intellectual curiosity, self-awareness and shared commitment to supporting the researchers and writers who seek us out."
We look forward to reading your application.
This job classification is governed by a negotiated labor contract and is subject to union shop provisions. For more information about union shop provisions, visit: http://www.washington.edu/admin/hr/jobs/apl/union-info.html
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 email@example.com