Colchester Middle School’s Aubrey Garrison, a humanities teacher in CMS’s Champlain House, has recently completed the Green Mountain Writing Project’s Summer Invitational Institute (GMWP ISI) at the University of Vermont.
The Green Mountain Writing Project is part of the National Writing Project (NWP), the only federally funded program focusing upon the teaching of writing. The NWP engages teachers of all grade levels and subjects, and it consists of more than two hundred sites across the country, hosted by colleges and universities. Because writing remains a critical vehicle for communication, the NWP’s primary mission is to improve the teaching of writing, thereby improving student learning and achievement all across the nation. Participation is fairly intense; it includes four five-day weeks and follow-up sessions as well as orientation days in advance of the program. Participants gain fresh insight into their skills as teachers, researchers, and of course writers.
“I have gathered some ideas that I can put into practice with students right away,” Ms. Garrison said. “Not only do I have some concrete, fun, and practical ideas about how to embed more writing into my classes, I also have some insight into how writing on a regular basis feels. Spending time with GMWP this summer has reminded me of the exhilaration that comes from writing each day, and also of how it feels to write under the pressure of a deadline or read your work aloud to others. These are experiences which will help me empathize with students as they work on their own writing.”
Ongoing professional development opportunities for our educators are critically important, keeping teachers up to date on research, innovative curriculum, technology implementation, and so much more. Beginning and veteran teachers alike benefit tremendously from continual opportunities to collaborate and learn, which in turn provides countless advantages and benefits for their students.
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