A Work in Progress: The Benefits of Early Recruitment for the Summer Institute

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Author: Anne-Marie Hall, Roger Shanley, and Flory Simon

Summary: This monograph from the Southern Arizona Writing Project describes site leaders’ process of restructuring their recruitment and pre-institute experiences for their summer institute. By starting recruitment efforts earlier and building in deeper pre-institute events focused on the development of demonstration letters and related mentorship, fellows were able to get a better start in preparing their demo lessons. An additional benefit was that this new sequence offered the site to increase the diversity of participants.

Helping Teacher-Writers Begin to Write

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Author: Troy Hicks, Anne Elrod Whitney, James Fredricksen, and Leah Zuidema

Summary: How can we best support our own and our colleagues as teacher-writers? In this chapter from Coaching Teacher-Writers: Practical Steps to Nurture Professional Writing, planners and leaders will find constructive strategies to motivate teacher-writers to begin, sustain, and complete professional writing. A valuable resource for facilitators, the chapter offers, “descriptions of key practices…developed over years of coaching, teaching, and collaborating with K12 teachers who write about classroom instruction, teacher research, or advocacy for better policy and pedagogy.

One-Day Workshops for Outreach and Revenue

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Author: Catherine Quick

Summary: Many writing project sites raise funds by offering a series of one-day open workshops over the course of a school year. This list of workshops offered by one site in 2013 may inspire teacher-leaders at other sites to think about how they could develop similar one-day programs in their own service area. (Note: the ongoing, updated schedule is available here)

From Annual Conference to Saturday Seminars: New Forums to Present Teachers’ Work

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Author: Katie McKay

Summary: Leaders at the NWP site at Rutgers University describe how they reframed their annual conference, in which new teacher-leaders first present their work, as a more informal series of Saturday workshops. The workshop series preserved the opportunity for new teacher leaders to conduct their first professional development session while eliminating the costs of a formal conference (keynote, food, etc.). In addition, the site also shares its unique model for assuring a predictable number of attendees. Includes a sample workshop schedule.

School Partnerships: A Year of Professional Development

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Author: Mark Dziedzic

Summary: Is your site working in school partnerships? This resource offers a year-long calendar of events for one in-school partnership project, with links to materials used for each session. In addition to the year-long calendar, program leaders will find examples of daily agendas; writing prompts; protocols for analyzing writing processes, student writing and writing across the curriculum; and links to readings/videos.

Reflections on an Online Teachers Writing Group

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Author: Anne Elrod Whitney

Summary: After participating in an NWP program, teachers may be eager to continue writing and yet may find themselves consumed by other obligations related to teaching and their personal lives. This thoughtful article offers concrete, constructive protocols for sustaining a writing group online as well as authentic models of collegial response and reflection upon the implications of teacher writers experiences for their own clasroom student writing groups.

A Weekend of Writing Isn’t a Weekend of Work

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Author: Cheryl North-Coleman

Summary: This article describes ideas for recruiting for professional writing retreats, shaping the retreat events, and providing necessary equipment and materials. Most of all, it reminds retreat planners and facilitators of the importance and centrality of time to write.

Why Retreat? Nurturing Teacher Confidence, Creativity, and Camaraderie

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Author: Kristy Lauricella Dawson

Summary: This article includes several ideas on recruitment, resource gathering, and scheduling that can lead to successful writing retreats, as well as a discussion of the value of bringing together colleagues to work on their writing over time. Through this example, retreat planners can see how nurturing teacher creativity leads to better classroom instruction.

Designing a Writing Retreat and Building Site Leadership on a Small Budget

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Author: Nancy Mellin McCracken & Barbara Smith

Summary: This article depicts the Kent State University Writing Project’s journey into the development and sustainability of a Professional Writing Retreat which also spurred new site leadership. Their experience brought forward important details about what really matters for successful retreats.

Sustaining Work with New Teachers

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Summary: Sites and/or educators interested in supporting early career teachers may find this resource useful: a description of how several sites developed and integrated their programs for new teachers—which were originally supported by NWP New Teacher Initiative grants—into the ongoing work of the site. Whether you are considering starting small (Southern Nevada: Study Groups), going all in (Houston: Intensive Summer Institute), or experimenting somewhere in the middle (Delaware: Workshop Series), there is something here to help you devise a program that can provide the support, collaboration, and collegiality new teachers need to thrive during their early professional years.