Due to the professional development workshops presented by my peers as well as the presentations of the professional texts we read, I am armed with a repertoire of elements to incorporate into my writing instruction. I think that most of all, my eyes have been opened to the numerous opportunities that exist for writing to be incorporated into the classroom and my students' lives. Furthermore, I feel prepared to lead others in the enrichment and growth of their own writing curriculums, allowing myself to feel confident as a teacher leader among my peers.
From my experience, I believe that the spirit of ISI is one of intimacy, in the sense that many activities are geared towards (or included as a component) building a relationship between participants that uses writing and analysis as a vehicle. In particular, prompted journaling with share-out has become a mainstay of my classroom. All of my students journal regularly and share (voluntarily) their entries. While journaling is a "mechanical" component that has worked its way into my classroom, that spirit of trust building and honest sharing permeates all of my lessons.
"The CCWP Intensive Summer Institute gave me the opportunity to grow as both a teacher of writing and as a writer myself. The daily collaboration with educators from different disciplines and grade levels allowed me to see the power of the writing experience for students of all ages. I left the ISI with a strong set of professional connections from across the state, fresh ideas about the teaching of writing, and new ways to engage my students."
"The Central Connecticut Writing Project has not only changed my life but the lives of my students. I participated in the National Writing Project this past summer and although I knew it was a life changing experience for me, I now see how my involvement has affected my students. This is my second year with the same class, and I can't believe the difference in both attitude and work ethic. I've literally heard them cheer after announcing that it's time for Writer's Workshop. They sit anxiously through whole group instruction, anticipating the opportunity to depict their lives or imaginations on paper. In all my years as a teacher, I have never experienced such an excitement for writing. Their ability to communicate orally and read with more fluency has also greatly increased which I partly attribute to their desire to verbally share their stories with their peers."
The CCWP taught me many valuable lessons for teaching writing in elementary school. I learned that writing should be a personal and enjoyable experience. Teaching children to love writing is the most valuable lesson I learned during the summer I participated in the CCWP. I learned using authentic literature and art promotes an inspiring and creative writing experience. I still implement the writing lesson I created during the CCWP.
My experience with the CCWP has a positive impact on my students. Before the CCWP I thought writing consisted of writing a neat and complete piece that focused on conventions. I struggled teaching an enjoyable writing lesson when all I focused on was conventions. After the CCWP, I learned that writing is so much more. I try to inspire my students and encourage them to express their thoughts and feelings on paper. Writing is my favorite subject to teach!