Much is demanded from peer tutors if they are to be perceived as professionals; they must be a listening ear, a helping hand, and an expert writer in order to effectively help students. However, tutors’ behavior must adapt to each individual student, paper, and session. Truly professional tutors ignore traditional definitions of professionalism in favor of providing students the help and advice they most need. Tutors need to pay attention to students’ initial behavior, students’ body language throughout the session, and their own feelings of comfort or discomfort in order to appropriately react to the private and personal content of student papers. Openness to discussing typically-taboo topics is an integral part of professional peer tutoring; tutors who adapt to each student and session are fulfilling their professional obligations far better than tutors who refuse to discuss the intimate and distressing content of students’ writing.
Price, Carrigan, "Professionalism in the Writing Center: Combining Compassion and Composition" (2019). Tutor's Column. Paper 41.