site leadership

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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The Boise State Writing Project’s Science Pathway

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Summary: Created as part of the Building New Pathways to Leadership initiative, this website documents the Boise State Writing Project’s year-long Science Pathway, designed to cultivate science teacher leaders in the site and state. Site leaders interested in expanding their site’s content-area specific offerings, can see each step of the Summer Institute and following Fellowship Year, including guidelines for and examples of the variety of writing teachers produced, and an exploration of what was kept from the traditional Writing Project Summer Institute, and what was incorporated to make the program discipline-specific.
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#StayinTeaching: Pathways to Writing Project Leadership for Early-Career Teachers

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Authors: Vicki Collet, Amanda Coughlin, Jean Hill, Katie Hill, Tyler McBride, & Kristina Packard

Summary: Written as part of the Building New Pathways to Leadership initiative, this narrative and accompanying resources tell one site’s story of building a pathway to teacher leadership for early career teachers. Site leaders interested in supporting professional growth for new teachers that is more of a collegial welcome to the profession, and the writing project, and less remedial instruction, may find this site’s story and approach illuminating.
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(Re)Visioning Site Work: Extending the Reach and Relevance of NWP Sites

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Author: J. Elaine White, Jane Frick, and Tom Pankiewicz

Summary: This monograph captures how two National Writing Project sites, at different points in their institutional lives, used visioning retreats as a strategy to take stock of their work and look forward in order to align programs with capacity, to develop leadership, and to continue to engage teachers in the professional community of the site. By engaging teacher leaders in collective inquiry at visioning retreats, both sites continued to build leadership capacity and support new learning. Of interest to site and program leadership teams, this resource describes in detail both sites’ planning process and subsequent results and includes an extensive appendix with support materials that are adaptable to planning visioning and similar types of retreats.
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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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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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Engaging Stakeholders: A Site’s Year in Review

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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.
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Launching a Comprehensive Fundraising Plan for Your Writing Project Site

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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.
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