site leadership

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.

Building the Capacity of Writing Project Site Leadership

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Author: Karen Smith, Lucy Ware, Lynn Jacobs, Paul Epstein

Summary: These stories of teacher leadership from NWP’s Vignette Study provide examples of structures and processes that sites can examine as they seek to expand leadership and create their own opportunities for teachers to lead. As Lucy Ware writes in the introduction to this collection, “We hope that leaders of local NWP sites will discover that challenges they face are not unique and will see adaptable strategies to apply in their own specific settings. By sharing these stories, we also hope that individual teacher-consultants will recognize the importance of their leadership to their local sites and will see ways that the NWP network might support their ongoing professional development.

Engaging Stakeholders: A Site’s Year in Review

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Author: Carol Minner

Summary: How can a site communicate information to stakeholders more effectively and ensure continued support? This example of a site impact report by the Oklahoma Writing Project shows one way. Data from the NWP Site Profile System and other information sources were compiled to showcase the impact of site programs. This newsletter/report was then distributed to university partners and the local educational community. Site leaders can use this model to consider how to make the case for their own site.

Launching a Comprehensive Fundraising Plan for Your Writing Project Site

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Author: Meg Petersen

Summary: The new reality for site sustainability is the need for fundraising. This overview of the Hudson Valley Writing Project’s strategy focuses on the need for ongoing discussion, cultivating university relationships, documenting programs, and identifying tools and actions. This document is written in a short, easy-to-use list form, and would be a great starting point for other sites to consider their own fundraising strategies. Site leaders might use it at a leadership retreat to spur discussions not only about funding, but also about marketing and visibility—how to make sure the university and the larger educational community know about the site, its programs, and its impact.

Educating Funders and Partners About the Work of Your Site

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Author: Sue McIntyre

Summary: Looking to increase your site’s visibility and raise new funding? This resource from the Western Massachusetts WP is a great model of how important site information can be compiled into a “Who We Are” document. Geared toward outsiders such as donors or university partners, this document enables the site to communicate more effectively about its programs and their impact. Sites looking to promote themselves to similar audiences should take a look.

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.

Stories of Impact: The On-Site Work of the New York City Writing Project

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Author: Elaine Avidon, et al.

Summary: This e-book includes powerful chapters written by teacher consultants about the individual and collective impact of their work and its alignment to their site’s mission and beliefs about professional learning. Reading select chapters would support fellows in imagining different kinds of school coaching; alternatively, the book offers a powerful model for site leaders who want to pull together leaders to collectively evaluate and write about the impact of their site’s programs.

The Journey of an Emerging Site Leader

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Author: Kathleen Ann Gonzalez

Summary: Are you taking on a new role at your writing project? Are you both excited and nervous? If so, then joining this journey of stepping into the role of a site leader may help set you at ease. The author confirms what we know deep down: trusting your writing project instincts and staying true to NWP core principles lead to positive outcomes and experiences. Highlights not to be missed include several concrete strategies and suggestions on how to help writing groups develop community and maintain momentum throughout an institute.