Krista Hitchcock has worked with young writers in a number of capacities. She began her career teaching English in Edina schools, where she was also a fellow in the Minnesota Writing Project. Since then, she has coached students one on one on the ACT and academic writing and is excited to bring these experiences to the Minnetonka Writing Center. She earned her undergraduate degree from Gustavus Adolphus College and her Masters in English Education from the University of St. Thomas.
Shannon Puechner has served as a writing coach for the past several years at the University of Minnesota’s Center for Writing. In that capacity she worked with students with diverse language backgrounds, writing at all levels in many different subject areas. In addition, she co-taught a seminar for new writing coaches. She earned her undergraduate degree and English education license at Eastern Illinois University, her Master’s in Education at Hamline, and is currently finishing up her Ph.D. in literacy education at the University of Minnesota
Who are the writing coaches?
Thirty-eight teacher-nominated student coaches in grades 10-12 have completed a semester-long course in writing and tutoring. Visit the Writing Center Blog to view profiles of our current student coaches!
What do writing coaches do?
Student coaches work in the Writing Center before and after school, conferencing with students and managing the front desk. They also go into classes to work on writing projects, mentor middle school students, help with enrichment events, and play leading roles major events, like the Minnesota Secondary Writing Centers Summit (http://writing.umn.edu/sws/e12wcc/summit.html)
How are writing coaches prepared for writing conferencing?
Their first year, all tutors take a .5 credit elective class where they:
What are the characteristics of an effective writing coach?
Pleasant, courteous, welcoming
Empathetic, an excellent listener
Prompt and responsible
Focuses on the writer first and the writing second
What is the role of an effective student writing coach?
To listen to and empathize with the writer.
To serve as a practice audience to the student writer.
To initiate conversation about ideas with student writers.
To provide a safe and supportive environment for student writers.
To act as ambassadors for the Writing Center.
As a writing coach, what are your tasks?
To help interpret assignments and/or decipher prompts.
To provide guidance and sometimes instruction with the writing process.
To respond to student writing as a reader.
If appropriate, to demonstrate or teach writing strategies student writers.
To work on cross-age and enrichment activities throughout the year.
As a writing coach, what aren’t your tasks?
To assess, judge, or guess at a grade for a paper
To proofread, edit, or fix a paper for the student writer (though you may certainly work with peers on these skills).
To critique a teacher or fellow student.
Description of position:
What you do NOT need:
Training & Assessment:
Applications every Spring