The Oregon Writing Project Collaborative is alive and well at George Fox, feeling established within the structure of the university and beginning to think again about expanding the ways we meet the needs of teachers and students and also ways that we might financially sustain the site.
Through the good work of Nancy Fischer and Susanna Steeg—joined by Tracy Velez and Angela Newport, we have been able to offer a “Summer Institute” (renamed Institute in the Teaching of Writing) both in the Winter/Spring at George Fox and in the summer in Salem. We are also gearing back up to offer Young Writers Camps, both face-to-face and digital. And the university has approved and designed a whole new Continuing Education credit structure that we will launch over the summer. We invite you to get involved with any or all of these programs and ask you to help us recruit participants.
Our site is ready to begin making strategic decisions about how we want to grow. Coincidentally, the National Writing Project (NWP) has also just launched nationwide conversations about how to adapt established models to meet the needs of current teachers and students while also preserving the mission and culture of what we recognize as “Writing Project.” Those changes include new models for the Summer (Leadership) Institute and alternate pathways for bringing teacher leaders into the site.
Karen joined these conversations at an NWP meeting in Austin this month where site leaders from 60 sites gathered to begin these conversations. We are eager to bring these conversations to our site and think together about opportunities for growth and ways to build a bigger bench of engaged teacher leaders who find within the site support for their passions and growth as leaders. One national focus is wondering what site experiences qualify a teacher leader to be a TC and lead site work. NWP will be offering guidelines, thinking about how to “badge” these leaders in useful ways and how to curate resources to support this community building.
So, we invite you to join a national conversation with the NWP network at #nwpleads and we invite you to participate in an OWPC Site Retreat in early spring where we will have conversations and collect your good thinking. If you are interested, please email Karen or Susanna. We plan to talk about the following:
1) Is our site mission still what we want as a vision for our site? How do we not lose the deep cultural norms?
2) What will our programs look like?
What do we want our Institute(s) to look like? How can we design them so that they are attractive to teachers, align with the NWP and OWPC missions and visions, grow new site leaders and promote continuity (keep teachers engaged with the site), and can be financially viable and sustainable? What components might become hybrid, in ways that have a strong social, cognitive and teaching presence?
What do we want our Young Writers activities to look like—including face-to-face, digital, and hybrid models? Who will coordinate those and how will the site support them?
What do we want our Continuing Education workshops to look like —including face-to-face, digital, and hybrid models? How do we want to grow our workshop offerings in ways that meet the significantly revised needs of teachers (in their own professional development needs, to renew licenses, and to move on the salary scales)? What Advanced Institutes do we want to develop? Who will coordinate those and how will the site support them?
What other site activities do we want to support—including face-to-face, digital, and hybrid models? Who will coordinate those and how will the site support them?
3) How do we recruit and support the growth of teacher leaders in our site? What are “sufficient” requirements and/or a sufficient level of involvement to designate that someone is a teacher leader for the site and can then receive site support to offer “Writing Project” activities?
We look forward to joining with you in conversations around these questions as we continuing to build our new "professional home" for teachers.
Karen Hamlin Susanna Steeg
Think Now about Summer Institute in Teaching of Writing
Now is the time to register for the 2016 Summer Institute in the Teaching of Writing. If you have gone through the Institute, you know what a benefit it can be for your classroom practice as well as your own writing practice. Consider nominating a fellow educator to participate; you are in a great position to know who in your circle would benefit from the experience. Please submit your nominations online here.
This unique NWP institute will be held for two weeks at the end of July and beginning of August, in Salem, Oregon (location TBD). The Summer Institute in the Teaching of Writing provides a collegial writing forum where experienced teachers come together to share, refine, and build upon successful writing strategies they've used in their classrooms. Teachers will work on developing themselves as writers and acquire strategies and resources to support all students in meeting CCSS. Participants who complete an institute become Writing Project Teachers, eligible to coordinate professional development activities and Young Writers' Camps. Teachers will earn graduate-level semester credits or professional development units (PDU's) to be applied to their professional certificates. GFU supports the institute with generous tuition waivers; see more for cost information and institute dates.
Young Writers Camps: Registration Open!
The Oregon Writing Project Collaborative will be hosting four Young Writers Camps in summer 2016. We would love for you to advertise these for us! You likely either know students personally who would enjoy these camps or you know a teacher who would love to encourage his or her students to participate. Our Young Writers Camps website gives complete information or you can get more specific information on each of the links in the description below.
The Oregon Battle of the Books camp will be open to middle school students who have read some of the books from this year's OBOB. This fully online camp will run two different one-week sessions. The C3: Create, Code, and Compose camp will focus on engineering, computer coding, and writing to enhance understanding through experimentation and hands-on experience. This in-person camp will run for one week. Superheroes for a Cause will allow high school students to research and discuss a cause, then produce a polished essay about that cause. This online camp will run for two weeks. A Creative Nonfiction Essay camp will focus on college applications, providing high school students an opportunity to work on their essays and receive personalized feedback. This fully online camp will run for three weeks.