The University of Massachusetts Amherst

WMWP Launches New Pathways to Teacher Leadership

July 12, 2018

Like all other local NWP sites, WMWP offers teachers in grades PK-college what many call a career-transforming professional growth opportunity in its annual Summer Leadership Institute. (Our 25th annual SLI is currently in progress!) Supported by the WMWP facilitators and each other, participants spend several weeks immersed in personal writing, professional reading, and reflective inquiry into their own teaching practices. During the following school year, they conduct action-research projects in their own classrooms and reunite to share their findings. At the end of this process, they emerge as WMWP Teacher-Consultants (TCs), well qualified to take on leadership roles in professional learning and curriculum development.

To make the transformative Summer Leadership Institute (SLI) experience accessible and relevant to more teachers, WMWP has created three additional pathways to teacher leadership. These inquiry-based institutes include the strands of the SLI—teacher as presenter, teacher as writer, teacher as researcher—and participants still earn the TC credential, but they are offered during the school year, and they address specific content areas:

  • Science Literacy Leadership Institute (PK-12). Focus: the new STE framework

  • Civics Literacy Leadership Institute (PK-12). Focus: the new H&SS framework

  • College, Career & Community Writers Institute (6-12). Focus: teaching argument across content areas

All institutes are facilitated by experienced teacher-leaders who will share a variety of strategies for designing culturally relevant classroom environments that can empower diverse learners. In my next three summer updates, I will highlight some key features of the three institutes.

An important note: While these institutes serve as alternatives to the Summer Leadership Institute for new members of the WMWP community, they are also open to current TCs who wish to build their leadership skills in a new area: science, civics, or the teaching of argument writing.

We hope that you will want to take advantage of this exciting capacity-building opportunity and make an investment in teacher leadership. Details about the institutes—dates and locations, PDPs and credits, and costs and registration procedures—are included in the flyers below. Space is limited, so we are taking registrations now. The registration deadline is September 20, 2018. Please feel free to contact WMWP Professional Development Coordinator Janie Baer-Leighton at if you have questions. To register, click the Program Registration button at the right.