The University of Massachusetts Amherst

WMWP Summer Leadership Institute

WMWP's annual Summer Leadership Institute brings together outstanding teachers who work with students in all academic content areas and at all grade levels, pre‑K through college. Supported by the WMWP facilitators and each other, these teachers spend two weeks immersed in writing, reading, and reflective inquiry.

During the following school year, they conduct action-research projects in their own classrooms and come together for three reunion meetings. At the end of this process, they become WMWP Teacher-Consultants. In this capacity they may provide professional development to schools for WMWP; present their research in local, regional, and national venues; and contribute to the ongoing growth of WMWP.

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

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

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

LANGUAGE AND POWER: How can language be used in a classroom to empower or disempower students? How can a student's native language be valued in my classroom?

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 students develop content knowledge and understanding?


2020 WMWP Summer Leadership Institute Fast Facts

WHO: Pre-K through college teachers, administrators, and content specialists in all disciplines 

WHAT: The best professional development you have ever experienced

WHERE: ​Online via Zoom


  • Meet-and-Greet Session for Applicants: Online via Zoom, dates TBD.
  • Orientation Day: Saturday, June 6, from 10:00 - 11:30
  • Summer Institute: Monday - Friday, July 6 - 17, 8:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.
  • School-year Follow-up Meetings: TBD

WHY: To grow as a teacher, learner, and leader


  • 135 PDPs ​(total for summer and school-year programs)
  • Optional 6 graduate credits ​(at $100 per credit plus registration fee)
  • Free membership​ in the WMWP and National Writing Project educator networks
  • Preparation to lead​ professional development programs as a paid teacher-consultant

COST: ~$500, not including the optional course credits.  (School districts are encouraged to contribute this registration fee to invest in you as a teacher leader.)

SLI is not accepting applications for the 2020 institute at this time, as the course has filled. 

Questions: Contact Summer Leadership Institute director Chris Rea at​.

Download the Summer Leadership Institute flyer: