On Saturday, September 29, 2014, the Edison Writing Center (EWC) and its directors, Amber Jensen and Liz Trentacoste, hosted the first ever Capital Area Peer Tutoring Association (CAPTA) Tutor Leadership Summit. Over 60 high school writing center tutor leaders, hailing from 13 secondary school writing centers in the Capital area attended this conference. We welcomed attendees from the following schools:
♦ Albemarle High School
♦ Annandale High School
♦ Centreville High School
♦ George C. Marshall High School
♦ Hayfield Secondary School
♦ Herndon High School
♦ John Champe High School
♦ Thomas Edison High School
♦ Thomas Jefferson High School
♦ Oakton High School
♦ Robinson Secondary School
♦ Sandy Springs Friends School
♦ West Springfield High School
♦ Woodson High School
At the CAPTA Tutor Leader Summit, peer tutors from Edison High School and Hayfield Secondary School led workshops, panels, individual, and poster presentations with a focus on leadership within the writing center. These presentations will be presented again later this year at the National Conference for Peer Tutoring and Writing (NCPTW) in Orlando, FL.
At the conclusion of the conference, tutors gathered in the Lecture Hall for informal brown bag lunch roundtables with leaders from other writing centers. Tutors discussed questions concerning the writing center’s influence within schools, community outreach, tutoring scenarios, writing center structure, media, and general tutoring tips.
Overall, tutors exchanged ideas about new writing center initiatives, discussed the development and improvement of writing centers, connected with other tutors from high schools all over the capital area, and left with fresh ideas to apply to their own respective writing centers. According to Mahmoud Baloul, first-year EWC tutor, “the conference was very professional, educational, and interactive, and it gave me a new perspective on writing centers.
We invite you to check out the presentations and their abstract summaries under our Writing Center Resources tab, and to view the accompanying Prezis and PowerPoints. We look forward to continued conversation among the tutor leaders at future CAPTA events.
At the end of the conference, tutors reflected on their experiences. Here are some of the valuable lessons tutors learned:
♦“[How to become] a leader and new advertisements to promote our writing center.”
♦“The most valuable part was learning how to tutor kids with disabilities because I learned how to tutor kids with disabilities because I learned new things I can really put into play. “
♦“[How to] emphasize that the writing center is for everyone”
♦“Different mentoring strategies”
♦“[How to incorporate] branching out to middle school”
Thank you to everyone who attended to the first official CAPTA Conference! On behalf of CAPTA, we hope to see you at more conferences in the future and continue this new collaboration!