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Summer Leadership Institute 2023

The Western Massachusetts Writing Project’s  annual Summer Leadership Institute will bring together outstanding teachers who work with students in all academic content areas and at all grade levels, PK–college. Supported by the WMWP facilitators and each other, these teachers will spend three weeks immersed in writing, reading, and teacher inquiry, ultimately returning to their schools as WMWP Teacher-Consultants. In this capacity they may contribute to the professional growth of their colleagues; earn extra income leading workshops and courses in area schools for WMWP; and present their research in local, regional, and national venues. In this way, the Summer Leadership Institute represents the first leg in what thousands of National Writing Project teachers around the country have described as a career-transforming journey. 

As participants, teachers will engage in their own writing to explore ways to use writing more meaningfully in their classrooms. They will participate in a collaborative inquiry community: reading current theory and research, engaging in classroom-based action research, and presenting a professional workshop. Inquiry will focus on the following themes: 


CLASSROOM INQUIRY: How can reflecting on my teaching help me ask questions to improve my practice?

REFLECTION AND IMPLEMENTATION: How do I incorporate change into my practice? How can attention to student trauma inform my pedagogy and/or curriculum? 

LANGUAGE AND POWER: How can language be used in a classroom to empower or disempower students? How can students’ native languages be valued in school? 

LITERACY AND LEARNING: How can I help students become more confident and effective writers and readers? What writing-to-learn and critical reading strategies can I use to help my students develop their content knowledge and understanding

“This program made me feel more confident as a teacher, writer, and presenter.”

Are you eager to strengthen literacy practices in your classroom to enable students to understand the content more thoroughly and express themselves more effectively? Are you ready to grow as a teacher-leader? Read on!


WMWP Summer Leadership Institute Fast Facts

WHO: PK through college teachers and content specialists in all disciplines
WHAT: The best professional development you have ever experienced
WHERE: Westfield State University
WHEN: Orientation Day: Saturday, June 17, 2023, 10:00 a.m.–1:00 p.m. at WSU
             Summer Institute: Monday–Thursday, July 10–13 and July 17–20
                                             Monday–Friday, July 24–28  9:00 a.m.–3:00 p.m.
             School-year Follow-up Meetings: October, January, and April, dates to be determined
WHY: To grow as a writer, researcher, and presenter 

YOU GET: 135 PDPs  (total for summer and school-year program) $750.00


6 graduate credits (at $1,149 per 3 credit course=$2,298 for both SLI and Action Research courses) 

Membership in the WMWP and National Writing Project educator networks 

Preparation to lead professional development programs as a paid teacher-consultant 

COST: We encourage you to work with your school district to cover this registration fee and invest in you as a teacher leader. A limited number of $500 scholarships are available to participants in need. 


"This was the best PD ever. I think it really elevates the profession… teaching is not a 9-5; it is a vocation. This institute was just a great opportunity to talk with other educators and reflect on our profession. This is vital to our practice.” 

"I have concrete strategies to try in the classroom. It was amazing to have a chance to really reflect on my work outside of the school year. I am so glad I did the SLI!” 

"I would tell others that no matter what their subject area is, they would benefit … SLI is helpful for all teachers.” 

- Past SLI participants

Visit to apply now and reserve your space! 

2023 SLI Facilitators: Jen DiGrazia and Chris Rea

Questions? Contact Summer Institute Co-Director Chris Rea at