Summary: Providing inspiration and guidance, this collection features six case studies of sites reimagining their core leadership programs to reach teachers not served by their regular summer institute. Both the finished products and the detailed explanations of the design processes of these six examples can be instructive for any team of site leaders exploring new ways to expand their site’s reach and better meet the needs of their area’s teachers.
At virtually all NWP sites, the Invitational Leadership Institute stands as the signature program and entryway for strong practitioners to become part of the local site. But at every site, there are strong educators who by virtue of geography or position or life circumstance are not able to take advantage of the site’s traditional offerings. Yet their leadership would be valued and the participation would help expand the impact of the site far beyond its current boundaries.
So, how do sites reinvent their leadership institutes to engage these potential leaders with a view toward maintaining the power and scope of their original Invitational Institute model?
The resources collected here provide powerful examples of how six Writing Project sites created new designs that go beyond their traditional Writing Project summer institute model to reach new groups of teachers not well-served by that model. Whether using online tools and innovative scheduling to overcome problems of distance; creating supports and programs specifically for early-career teachers; or taking advantage of new writing standards to invite content area teachers into the Writing Project, these resources provide detailed examples of the kind of planning, execution, iteration, and learning that takes place when Writing Project sites adapt their programs to build new pathways to teacher leadership.
These six projects were developed as part of the broader Building New Pathways to Leadership (BNPL) initiative, supported by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The initiative served to create new ways to scale our work and reach underserved teachers, as funding challenges render the classic model of establishing new university-based sites inadequate. The initiative also supported the development of this Write/Learn/Lead Knowledge Base and the articulation of the NWP Social Practices framework, which mades explicit six key practices of NWP-style teacher leadership.