Frequently Asked Questions
How will I benefit from the LMWP Invitational Summer Institute?
- Become a more effective and energized teacher of writing
- Learn strategies to raise the success levels of your students' writing in class and on standardized tests such as the MEAP
- Join the larger conversation of dedicated and experienced teachers of writing
- Garner international recognition and credentials as a National Writing Project teacher consultant
What is the cost to participate?
You will have the choice of receiving either a $400 cash stipend OR a full three-credit GVSU scholarship (approx value $1,809). If you choose the stipend, this will be paid to you upon successful completion of the course. If you choose the scholarship, this will be applied to ENG 632.
Can I earn additional graduate credits?
After the Summer Institute (ENG 632), the Writing Project offers a teacher-research class (ENG 633). This class meets periodically throughout the year and develops a teacher-researcher project based on writing in one's classroom. Meeting with this group and eventually writing an article about the teaching of writing in your classroom will earn you either another cash stipend or a full three-credit GVSU scholarship.
How is the Institute different from other professional development opportunities?
The Institute is a workshop designed to be both more demanding and more fulfilling than traditional staff development programs. Also, the Institute connects to the National Writing Project’s philosophy that teachers improve their own teaching practices by working with other outstanding teachers in group-learning activities.
What do the Sessions look like?
- Presentation of demonstration lessons by participants, followed by peer evaluations.
- Presentation of lecture, workshop or demonstration lessons by Institute Directors.
- Writing by participants.
- Reading group participation centered around two complementary writing-related texts.
- Planning of follow-up activities for the upcoming academic year.
Will I have a lot of "homework" to do outside Institute hours?
Since Institute participants earn 3 hours of graduate credit, they are expected to do some reading and writing outside of the Institute hours. However, since participants are actively engaged in learning during the day, fellows spend less time doing "homework" than for other graduate classes.
What are the general attendance expectations for participants?
In general, we expect Institute participants to be present every day unless there are unavoidable personal emergencies or professional responsibilities. Barring extenuating circumstances, no fellow should miss more than one full day of the Institute.
How much will my books cost?
We have two required texts every year. The cost is usually less than $30. We also set up an extensive library during the Institute, and those books are available to fellows to borrow at anytime.
May I bring guests to the Institute?
We welcome adult visitors, especially administrators and teachers who might like to participate in future Summer Institutes. Although our work is fun, it is also intense and paced for talented adult learners. Therefore, except on special prearranged occasions, children should not be brought to the Institute.
What instructional settings, grade levels, and subject areas are represented at the Institute?
We always seek a group representing all (K - 16) teaching levels. We welcome teachers from the business world (e.g. corporate training centers) or from specialty schools and home schools. We welcome any teacher of writing, regardless of subject area.
What is a teaching demonstration?
Each fellow will model a best practice from one’s classroom in writing for the entire group. Fellows’ demonstrations will be examples of lessons that involve writing in their own classrooms. Student work, activities that take the audience through some of the process, and professional/theoretical references will be part of the demonstration. After each demonstration, there will be a discussion of the teaching concepts and principles shown in the lesson. Each fellow will learn to apply teaching concepts based on core literacy development principles across all grade levels and subject areas.
What do I need to bring for my teaching demonstration? How long should it last?
If you have some idea of what favorite lesson you might like to share for your teaching demonstration, you will want to bring the needed materials home at the end of the school year. The demonstration itself should last about 75 minutes and will include all parts of your lesson (introduction, activities, closure). In an effort to keep paper copies to a minimum, each demo is put on the Institute's website.
May I leave the GVSU campus for lunch and/or to run errands?
Fellows should remain on campus during Institute hours. We try to have one extended lunch per week, but this is a time when all fellows enjoy a festive meal together. We would rather pack our days with activities, including discussions over lunch, to keep the hours of the Institute more manageable.
To qualify as a fellow, how computer-comfortable do I need to be?
Fellows do need to be willing to try out a variety of learning experiences in a computer classroom. The more comfortable you are with working with a computer, the better; but lack of experience should not prevent you from becoming a fellow.
What are my chances of being selected as a fellow?
We will choose, from our initial applicant pool, to interview 20 candidates for approximately 15 slots. If you are invited for an interview, you have an excellent chance of becoming a fellow.
What if, after I am selected, I find I cannot participate for personal reasons?
Please notify us immediately so that we can contact an alternate before the Welcome Dinner. We never add alternates after the dinner as too much learning happens after that point to be "made up" later.