Ashley Potter, Peer Consultant

ashleyPic.jpgMajor: Master of Arts in Education
BA: American and Ethnic Studies

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Give me diversity; I want all types of writing! I want the research, the analysis, the reading response, the poetry!

Like so many of my fellow Peer Consultants, I have a passion for writing. Writing has been a form of expression for me since an early age. I was inspired by the books I read, how written words could convey meaningful stories. Ambitiously, I attempted to write entire novels! I only ever got as far as the first chapter. College pushed me beyond first chapters. After writing countless research papers and final essays, my passion for writing developed new purpose than only writing for personal expression (though I still do!). Writing is a form of learning, and this is what interests me most.

As a learner, I benefit from the journey of writing. By organizing my ideas and refining my language along the way, I begin to communicate my ideas more effectively. My main objective is that by the end, I should arrive at one or multiple new ideas about my writing topic. Whether it is a question, a new development, or even a rebuttal that takes me in a completely different direction from my original piece, I want my writing to open new learning paths.

As an educator, I walk with the student down their learning journey. I can trace their ideas from beginning to end as their thoughts unfold on paper. Writing provides the unique ability to gain perspective into the mind of a student. I learn what questions to ask to deepen and broaden students’ learning, while simultaneously advancing their ability to communicate their ideas. Hopefully, by guiding a student through their own writing, they find themselves at that end objective.

When a dialogue between two people opens around writing, the roles of learner and educator are interchangeable. The learner can become the educator and the educator can become the learner. As somebody who loves to learn and to educate, writing allows me to inhabit both roles. This is why it has become one of my passions. Writing is a collaborative effort to produce knowledge, no matter the kind. So please, let’s collaborate!