mentor/thinking partner

Demonstrating Teaching in a Lab Classroom

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Author: Lisa Houk

Summary: Lisa Houk, a teacher-consultant with the Oakland (MI) Writing Project, details a structure in which “host” teachers provide opportunities for observation by “guest” teachers in a format that allows for preparation, facilitation, and debriefing.
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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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#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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Thrive: Five Ways to (Re)Invigorate Your Teaching—An Interview with Author Meenoo Rami (NWP Radio)

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Guests: Meenoo Rami

Summary: Described by NWP Executive Director Elyse Eidmann-Aadahl as “the book I would want to give all new teachers,” Meenoo Rami’s Thrive celebrates the influence of mentors and membership in a professional community as catalysts for the author’s own intellectual growth and personal empowerment as a teacher. In this NWP Radio show, Rami shares the stories of the mentors and communities that have shaped her practice.
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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:  Of particular interest to teacher leaders planning their site’s invitational institute, this monograph from the Southern Arizona Writing Project describes how site leaders’ addressed the challenges of recruitment by revising their year-round calendar to more seamlessly integrate pre and post-institute experiences with other site programming. By starting recruitment efforts for the next summer immediately following the current summer’s institute and building in stronger mentoring and pre-institute events focused on the development of teacher demonstrations, site leaders found that institute participants were better acclimated and prepared. An additional benefit they found was that this new sequence increased the diversity of participating teachers.

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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 the National Writing Project’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.
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Community Literacy: Can Writing Make a Difference?

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Author: Linda Flower, Lorraine Higgins, Wayne C. Peck

Summary: This resource describes the process emerging from a Community Literacy Collaborative (CLC) initiative that enabled youth to use inquiry and writing to enter into a policy discussion about increases in school suspension and for their university mentors to enter into the discourse of urban teens. The approach is designed to promote intercultural discourse across race, class, gender, age, and economics barriers. Remarkably current (the school to prison pipeline comes to mind), this piece provides real world examples undergirded by a strong theoretical rationale and would be a useful resource for those framing community-based projects aimed at advocacy and civic engagement.
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The Birth and Death of Portfolio Assessment

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Author: Pauline Sahakian

Summary: Although this short article is ostensibly about portfolio assessment, the author warns that promising teaching practices will only endure in a school or professional community if mentors facilitate ongoing conversations about the hows, whens, and whys of practice. In other words, regular practices cannot be taken for granted; mentors and facilitators cannot assume new leaders will simply take up time-honored practices.
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Working With New Teachers: Building Networks and Allies (NWP Radio)

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Guests: Kira J. Baker-Doyle

Summary:  Are you interested in developing programming for new teachers? If so, listen to this interview with Kira J. Baker-Doyle about her book The Networked Teacher to learn about the research and theory behind social networks, both face-to-face and online. Listeners will hear practical advice about how new teachers can join and create networks of peers and mentors and access resources for support in the early years of their professional careers. CONTINUE READING

Literacy Coaches Explore Their Work Through Vignettes

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Author: Carrie Usui

Summary: What is the work of a literacy coach? Twelve UCLA Writing Project teacher-consultants serving as literacy coaches in the LA Unified School District spent a weekend retreat exploring that question by writing vignettes as a way to illustrate what it is they do as coaches. Here they share some of what they do and how it makes a difference for students and teachers in the schools where they coach.
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