Worlds collide: integrating writing center best practices into a first year composition classroom
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As an undergraduate, I had the opportunity to work in the University Writing Center (UWC) at IUPUI. This opportunity influenced my life in many ways, but none more important than my teaching. Looking back on my time in the UWC, I did not realize the connection between writing centers and composition classrooms. As a graduate student, I began to read literature that defined composition classrooms and writing centers as separate worlds. However, once I was an instructor, these two worlds were seamless weaving in and out of each other to the point that I couldn’t separate them. In fact, I didn’t understand how one could. I had read literature defining composition classrooms and writing centers as different worlds but was having experiences in the classroom that contradicted this perception, so I wanted to investigate how these experiences influenced my teaching. I sought out literature that explored the writing center-composition classroom connection to look at specific elements of my teaching and how they tied to UWC practices. This case study grew out of the initial challenges I faced as a new instructor, which led me on a journey to find my own approach to teaching composition. That journey resulted in the implementation of writing center best practices, that I learned as a tutor, into my teaching philosophy, and this background equipped me to approach writing instruction as a facilitator, guiding students to become better writers.This case study examines which writing center practices, gleaned from my experiences in the UWC at IUPUI, I’ve incorporated into my classroom, why I’ve chosen these practices, and what student feedback reveals about these practices.