Summer Institute Season is Here!

Summer institute season is in full swing! Now that the first two Teachers College Reading and Writing Project institutes are over, participants from across the country, and across the world, have returned home, with full hearts, full minds, and certainly full notebooks!

One participant tweets from her plane ride home! Already planning an interactive read aloud!

But here at the Project, things are just getting started, as we enter the next phase of institutes. Staff developers are packing their suitcases to travel to towns, cities, and nations across the globe to work with schools and entire districts that have assembled for “homegrown institutes.” These institutes might be as small as thirty spirited teachers, or as large as 800—each locally situated and tailored to the specific needs and goals of the hosting district or school.

Those who stage these institutes appreciate the opportunity to work with teachers, coaches and administrators in ways that build professional networks within schools—helping form the support teams necessary in keeping the literacy work going strong, long after the institutes end. This ultimately matters most.

One participant tweets an important message from the NYC Institute.

After all, it’s not a small thing for teachers to gather side-by-side, and read and write together, exploring new territories, moving out of comfort zones, reflecting and trying again, and outgrowing themselves in the company of others—all the while, thinking about ways to bring new methods and strategies into their classrooms to refresh their practice to best support children as readers and writers. Participants in recent institutes have said, “I used to think that giving kids the topic helped make their writing better. Now I realize, ideas needs to come from within. Engagement is everything.” “I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I wish we were going back to school sooner. I’m so excited to start all over!” “It always felt like separate pieces to me. I always felt so scrambled. Now, it all makes sense. Everything fits together.”

You can follow the Dancing Lady on her travels! She’s already climbed the hills of San Francisco, scored tickets to a Broadway show, visited 3M Headquarters- home of the Post-it, posed next to Minneapolis’ famous sculptures, and taken a walk beneath the palm trees in Florida.

Where will she go next? Find her, along with the voices of our growing TCRWP community on Twitter, using @TCRWP and #TCRWP and on Facebook, search: The Teachers College Reading and Writing Project. Be sure to share your #TCRWP moments with us this summer! We’ll be sure to share ours!