Friday, June 18, 2010

The joys of summer

The first week of the 2010 invitational summer institute of the Red River Valley Writing Project has come to a close. We've got a break until Monday when we jump into demos by summer fellows.

The summer institute is a reminder of the effectiveness of the National Writing Project model, a model that is enacted in every NWP site in the country. Teachers come together to learn about writing through demonstrations of best practices, to read about writing and to write. Simple? Perhaps. Brilliant? Most certainly. Take a look at the following. (Note summer fellows become teacher consultants (TC's) once the summer institute is over.

Following the intense weeks of the writing project summer institute, teacher-consultants (TC) echo a common refrain, "The writing project changed my life!" Part of this transformation is visible in TCs' classrooms; part of it is evident in an expanded sense of professional identity as captured above. Fortunately, the final day of the summer institute isn't the end—it represents the beginning of participation in a community of teachers who learn together, write together, and work to serve students, teachers, schools, and districts. In particular, the writing project offers teachers a forum for sharing their practice and provides ongoing support for developing their practice and their leadership skills. (from the NWP website)