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Coach as Catalyst

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Andrea Kimball

on 10 March 2014

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Transcript of Coach as Catalyst

Edina High School: The Writer's Block
National Conference in Peer Tutoring in Writing
November 2-4 2012

Coach as Catalyst
Meet the Coaches!
Coach vs. Tutor
We are coaches, not tutors.
Our Environment
We pride ourselves on creating
a sense of belonging
and a sense of community
in our center.
Beyond the Block
As part of our mission to help students with all stages of the writing process, we conduct several projects outside of the traditional conference in our traditional space.
Personal Strategies
A welcoming environment and positive coaches are crucial elements to the success of a writing conference. This video helps to demonstrate a situation in which the elements previously discussed are applied correctly and incorrectly.
What specific actions taken by the “bad coach” negatively affected the conference?
What specific actions taken by the “good coach” positively affected the conference?
How do these factors increase the effectiveness of the writing conference? Of the writing center overall?
How have you made an effort to create a welcoming environment and to remain positive?

In what ways can you improve?
Writer's Block:

Coaches are spread out across the space

Coaches welcome and introduce themselves

Coaches give positive feedback

Coaches encourage students to return
Head Coach
Favorite Memory:
The crazy rush the day
before an AP Lit essay
is due
Head Coach
Favorite Memory:
When I learned that
the first girl I helped
with her college essay
was accepted to
her dream school!
Classroom visits
Incentivized conferences
New Writing
College Essay Seminar Series
Sponsoring Contests
(Resident Novelists)
NCTE Achievement
in Writing Contest
We would like to share some of our individual strategies that we have found to work during our time in the Writer's Block.
After reading through the essay, praise the student on something in his or her
At the start of the conference, don't talk about the paper right away.
Relate to the student or his or her assignment.
Favorite Memory:
When a bunch of us participated in NaNoWriMo and worked in the Writer's Block together at lunch for a month.
Favorite Memory: Having new faces to say hi to in the hallway
Share a mildly
embarrassing story to
make the writer
feel comfortable
Ms. Mohs
Ms. Cosgrove
What does that mean?
Guiding, suggesting
"We don't edit"
The student writer takes the lead

Friends, not teachers
No grades, just advice
Support and direction, but the student does the work
Teach strategy
Why the distinction?
"Doctor-Patient" Confidentiality
We are students too
No Judgement Rule
What does this look like in action?
Asking questions
"What are you trying to say here?" rather than "This doesn't make sense"
Leaving all decisions up to the writer
"What do you want to work on?"

Body Language
Writer holds the pencil
sit next to each other
What if the writer wants you to "just edit?"
- Explain our philosophy
- It may take more effort, but it will be much more rewarding
The Exceptions
Occasionally, a writer will have trouble grasping a concept, and a coach will have to take a more active role
point out errors
explain corrections
rarely necessary
Favorite memory:
Conducting impromptu
midnight conferences
When you give a student time
during a conference to work on
something, occupy yourself so the
student does not feel pressure to rush.
Favorite Memories: The coaches' dedication to students' writing and the increased confidence of the writers after conferences
We have a few questions to facilitate discussion on the presentation.

What are some of the important things to keep in mind while meeting with students?

How much responsibility for the success of the conference?

What do you believe students value the most during your sessions as a writing coach?
What steps do you believe your writing center should take after viewing our presentation?

Do you have any advice for our center?
National Conference on Peer Tutoring in Writing 2012
Full transcript