Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Summer in April:
the Invitational Institute Begins

Bill Tucker

For fourteen teachers and three institute leaders, summer began on April 25. Metaphorically-speaking. The 2011 Invitational Institute technically begins on June 23.
The annual Pre-institute dinner and orientation was held in the EMU Student Center, where the latest participants and their mentors met Monday evening. The centerpiece of the program was a demonstration on “Setting Up Your Writer’s Notebook,” by Liz Bertolini, TC ’10. We all left with our salt-and-pepper notebooks (some were green-and-white and some red-and-white) set up for a year of quickwrites and mini-lessons.
The newest participants also purchased the required reading for the spring: a choice of Hidden Gems (Katherine Bomer), The Digital Writing Workshop (Troy Hicks) or Writing in the Dialogical Classroom (Bob Fecho). They will be participating in three book blogs leading up to the beginning of the institute.
The demise of the National Writing Project has been greatly exaggerated, to paraphrase Mark Twain. Most of the 200 sites are holding summer institutes, in spite of cutbacks in their grant allocations, due to the reckless slashing of literacy programs in the federal budget. The NWP continues to seek funding for programs in 2012 and beyond.
Meanwhile at least eight Michigan sites have confirmed plans for Invitational Institutes this summer.
The class of 2011 includes four college level instructors, six teachers at the high school level, one from middle school and three from elementary schools. EMU boasts the highest representation of teachers for the first time: three (see accompanying photo).
The leadership for the institute includes, Nick Kalakailo, Coordinator for New Teachers, Cassy Korinek, Returning Fellow, Karen Chichester, Technology Liaison, and Bill Tucker, Director.
We will likely hold a “Mentors Day” on July 1 with a Cornucopia book display. All teacher consultants are invited to visit.

Summer is on the way!

Front Row, Left to Right:
Bill Barr, Dawn Richberg, Janice Vujic, Barbara Martin, Jessica DeYoung Kander
Back Row, Left to Right:
Erin Klein, Sarah Primeau, Heather Shiveley, Lynn Gronvall,
Rian Burke, Amy West, Stacey Briggs, Marquin Parks, Cindy Guillean

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