Saturday, December 18, 2010

National Writing Project: Supporting Teachers to Become Even Better Teachers of Writing!

  Have you ever heard of the National Writing Project? The National Writing Project is a highly respected professional learning opportunity for teachers. There is a network of over 200 sites at various college and university campuses across the United States. Each respective site host a summer institute where teachers work on developing their skills as teachers of writing. Also, teachers develop their personal skills as a writer.


    It is so important for teachers to see themselves as writers who are always developing their own skills in order to continue to develop their instructional writing skills, too. I know that is how I personally feel, and I work with writing instruction for about half of any given school day. If I can model my thinking, sifting, brainstorming, drafting, editing, revising, and sharing, that modeling will lead to more risk taking and confidence building in the students. Like any other subject, students need to be explicitly shown. As we all know, writing can be intimidating! :) The more you practice, the more your voice and crafting abilities grow.  I would say that participating in the NWP was one of the top professional development activities that I have ever been a part of. I highly recommend it!  

     Our local branch of NWP, the Eastern Virginia Writing Project, holds its annual course each summer at William and Mary each summer. I'm a teacher consultant of the EVWP from the summer of 2004, and this participation also makes you a fellow of the NWP. Here is the EVWP's blog link, too. The application is available at their link above, and the six graduate credits and books are paid for, as well as a $100 honorarium. What a deal!

     Donalyn Miller is the author of one of the many books I enjoyed this year, which is called The Book Whisperer: Awakening the Reader in Every Child (Jossey-Bass, 2009.) This link will take you to an insightful interview she gave with the NWP. Also, she was one of the special speakers at the NWP's national convention this year. It is really worth listening to her in this YouTube posting of her speech. We all need to keep the fire and passion about why we teach, and listening to her speak is a great dose of encouragement!

Author Donalyn Miller Speaking at National Writing Project's 2010 Convention

Additional Links Related to the National Writing Project:

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