When I first joined the Writing Center one of the biggest things that stood out and kind of made me nervous was the whole “we welcome all funds of knowledge” thing. I remember thinking “oh no,I’m not very good at punctuation” blah blah self criticism blah blah. But that’s not what “funds of knowledge” actually means; sure it can mean you are skilled in punctuation and grammar or analytical writing etc. But the part of it that I think a lot of students don’t consider when they first join the Writing Center is that your fund of knowledge can be your people skills, ability to make people laugh/feel comfortable, and being able to rephrase questions. Those are all very important funds of knowledge that don’t necessarily have anything to do with academics but traits like those make great tutors when they are taught that those traits are something to be proud of.
I used to feel pretty insecure about my tutoring abilities because I felt I wasn’t “qualified enough” to be a tutor at times; before I realized that not only is it perfectly okay to ask for help from other tutors and be vulnerable and say “I’m still learning how to tutor assignments like this” and that in itself is another form of….a fund of knowledge! Advocating for yourself and others is a skill that isn’t inherent for everyone. Everyone in the Writing Center and who comes into the Writing Center are all works in progress. We’re all still learning and no one is perfect and no tutor is going to have all the answers.
Growth mindset. Shared vulnerability. Funds of knowledge. Community collaboration. That is the Skyline Writing Center.