The National Writing Project’s professional development model is based on the belief that teachers are the key to education reform, teachers make the best teachers of other teachers, and teachers benefit from studying and conducting research. There are many forms of successful NWP professional development because there is no one right way to do this type of work.
How the UPWP can help:
UPWP Teacher Consultants (TCs) lead professional development activities that provide teachers multiple strategies which address both the process of writing and the products of writing. These TCs have previously attended an intensive NWP Summer Institute where they learned strategies for effectively teaching writing. These teachers prepared for leadership roles by demonstrating their most effective practices, studying research, and improving their knowledge of writing by writing themselves.
NWP/UPWP Professional Development Model
As the writing process is recursive, the NWP model for professional development is also. Truly effective change takes time so the NWP strongly recommends long-term professional development (6-9 sessions) versus one-time workshops. The model improves practice and is not a “quick fix.” Also, teacher voices are critical for the work to be successful so before any professional development is given, UPWP representatives will meet with a group of your staff members. At that time, your staff will inform the UPWP of needs and expectations then together formulate a plan for professional development. The NWP believes all teachers, regardless of grade-level, expertise, or subject area, should be teachers of writing so the professional development opportunities are open to all staff.
Sample Professional Development Plan (6 sessions)
1. The writing process
6. Publishing and Assessing
Other Possible Professional Development Programs
MEAP as a Genre
“New” Teacher Mentoring
Facilitating Book Studies
Writing with Technology
Using Protocols to Look at Student Work
Reading and Writing Connections
“Writing is complex, and so is the instruction that a school must provide if its students are to reach the high standards of learning expected of them.”
National Writing Project and Carl Nagin, Because Writing Matters (2006)