collaboration

Knowing When to Make Coffee: Lessons in Leadership and Change for a New Site Leader

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Author: Vicki Holmsten

Summary: Holmsten recounts a rocky but ultimately successful first few years of a new Writing Project site, distilling six key lessons for building site leadership and capacity that can survive and grow through inevitable periods of change.
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One Director’s Role as Leader, Contextualizer, Researcher, Enabler, and Site Conscience

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Author: Sheridan Blau

Summary: Blau reflects on the varied roles of a Writing Project site director, particularly in a time of budgetary uncertainty. She emphasizes the behind the scenes work of keeping the “intellectual, spiritual, financial, and logistical” resources of a site available and in working order, drawing parallels between this vision of site leadership and a constructivist vision of classroom teaching.
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More Than Skin Deep: Professional Development that Transforms Teachers

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Author: Deborah Dean, Melissa Heaton, Sarah Orme, Gary Woodward

Summary: Four teacher-consultants explore how their involvement in the Writing Project fundamentally shifted how they approached writing, both their own and their students’. They each detail how it demystified the apparent magic that produces good writing, drawing them wholeheartedly into the messiness, collaboration, and beauty that the process of writing truly entails.
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The Professional Leadership Development Project: Building Writing Project and School-Site Teacher Leadership in Urban Schools

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Author: Zsa Boykin, Jennifer Scrivner, and Sarah Robbins

Summary: Motivated by a desire to have opportunities for professional development for their teaching colleagues similar to those they had experienced as participants in the Kennesaw Mountain Writing Project, teacher-consultants created a structure for building a school-based professional leadership development project. The authors of this NWP monograph describe a flexible model–grounded in participating teachers’ own collaborative inquiry into their work–for promoting teacher leadership within six urban schools. Teacher leaders interested in developing similar models of school-based learning communities will find inspiration in this resource along with a useful planning guide.
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Transforming Professional Lives through Online Participation

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Author: Luke Rodesiler, Meenoo Rami, Gary Anderson, Cindy Minnich, Brian Kelley, Sarah Andersen

Summary: The NWP principle of “going public with our practice” has taken on new meaning as avenues for connecting and going public have continued to open. This article takes a deep look at what happens when five teachers take their practice public and put themselves “out there” professionally. You’ll read stories of how teachers have overcome isolation by making connections and developing professional learning networks online, grown and evolved their own teaching practice, and developed their writer identity. The writers also share how online participation led them to new levels of teacher leadership through exciting professional opportunities that became available because of the visibility they gained by “going public with their practice.”
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Changing Teaching from Within: Teachers as Leaders

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Author: Ann Lieberman & Linda Friedrich

Summary: For sites and individuals interested in exploring why teachers become leaders in their schools and communities and how they move into positions of leadership, this paper and accompanying slides provide a rich and in-depth look at stories from a research study of NWP teacher-leaders recognized as effective models of teacher leadership. Exemplary in its research methodology and rich in detail and examples of collaboration, coaching, reflective practice and professional growth within school reform contexts, these resources could be useful in study groups and a variety of other contexts where teachers seek to learn about teacher leadership and NWP social practices in action.
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Reading in a Participatory Culture (NWP Radio)

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Summary: This radio show discusses the book Reading in a Participatory Culture and the complementary digital book Flows of Reading. The show examines what it means to be a reader and writer in an increasingly participatory and social culture, in which readers read across different media and understand reading as an act of sharing, deconstructing, and making meaning. This resource is useful in digital learning professional development and also offers curricular ideas, including an extended discussion of how the authors worked with an inner city theater director to re-think Moby-Dick in this new context. A few sections may be of special interest: at 2:31, Erin Reilly discusses the book’s “big idea”–what it means to talk about reading in a participatory culture. At 10:55 a description of teacher professional development begins. Around 40:20, discussion moves to the Moby-Dick project.
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The Southern Arizona Writing Project Teacher Research and Inquiry Community (NWP Radio)

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Summary: In this NWP Radio program, moderator Elyse Eidman-Aadahl and teachers from the Southern Arizona Writing Project provide an overview of teacher research in general along with various approaches and settings (first 16 minutes), followed by stories of how the projects of three teachers impacted their practice, built connections with students and families, and benefited from a shared community of practice (16:00-51:35 total; 16:16 Laurie; 29:05 Denise; 39:11 Leah). Each segment provides unique insights that could inform new and experienced teachers engaged in teacher research and speaks to the power of teachers writing and talking about their work.
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#engchat: Community, Conversation and Collaboration for English Teachers

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Author: Meenoo Rami

Summary: The creater of #engchat, Meenoo Rami, describes how #engchat began as a weekly online chat for English teachers and has grown into a platform that has thousands of followers and hundreds of weekly tweets and retweets. Read a little about #engchat here and then join the conversation on Twitter.
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Social Media as Professional Development

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Author: Melinda Rench

Summary: Social media, including platforms such as blogs, Twitter, and Facebook, offer teachers new and ongoing opportunities to connect with other teachers and literacy leaders in ways that were not possible for previous generations of educators. This short article offers a look into a few ways that one teacher has opened up her professional network and grown her pedagogical practice via social media. Have a read and then head out to Twitter, Facebook, the NWP Medium blog, or some other platform and get involved in the conversation.
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