Summer Institute FAQs

When does the Summer Institute occur?
The Summer Institute takes place during the month of June for two weeks with a once a month school-year follow-up meeting except during the months of November and December.  There are also two pre-Institute workshops held in April, prior to the June Institute.

Where does the Summer Institute occur?
The Summer Institute takes place on Kennesaw State University’s Kennesaw campus.

How is the Institute different from other professional development opportunities?
The two-week institute is a workshop-based opportunity designed to be both more demanding and more fulfilling than traditional staff development programs. 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 that are teacher-led. These activities include opportunities for teachers to develop their own writing skills to see themselves as writers, too.

Will I have a lot of “homework” to do outside Institute hours?
Summer Institute participants are expected to do some reading and writing outside of the Institute hours, but since participants are actively engaged in learning during the two-weeks during the summer, the work at home is minimal. Participants will consider a classroom inquiry project to work on during the school year. This work will take place during the school year follow-up sessions.

What are the attendance expectations for participants?
We expect participants to be present every day, unless there are extenuating personal circumstances or professional responsibilities that would inhibit attendance. Barring any extenuating circumstances, no participant should miss more than one whole day of the Institute.

How much will my books and other materials cost?
Typically, there is not a required common text, but participants may have to purchase texts for independent or group reading, as well as anything required for the teaching demonstration.

May I bring guests to the Summer Institute?
The KMWP welcomes adult visitors, especially administrators and teachers who might like to apply 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 the full (Pre)K-University teaching levels. We welcome teachers from the business world (for example, corporate training centers) or from specialty schools and home schools. We also welcome any teacher of writing, regardless of subject area, from schools where the teaching of writing focuses on specific disciplines.

May I leave the KSU campus for lunch and/or to run errands?
Participants should remain on campus during the Institute hours. Typically, one extended lunch per week is figured into the schedule and sometimes this meal may be a festive pot luck opportunity.

To qualify as a fellow, how computer-comfortable do I need to be?
Participants need to be willing to try out a variety of learning experiences to stretch their learning during the Institute.

What are my chances of being selected as a participant?
We interview all candidates that apply for our 12-15 basic Summer Institute slots. If you are invited for an interview, you have an excellent chance of becoming a participant.

 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 pre-Institute workshops in April. We never add alternates after the pre-Institute workshop, as too much learning happens during those orientation activities to be “made up” later.

What is a teaching demonstration?
Participants will conduct a classroom inquiry project where they will share the results of that inquiry with not only their summer institute group, but also others from the writing project site. These demonstrations are typically examples of lessons which involve writing in their own classrooms. Each participant 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?
You will need to have any materials necessary to share your lesson and inquiry. This might include research, books, student work, handouts, etc. The demo should last approximately one hour if completed individually. Sometimes participants inquiry projects are similar enough in nature they can combine efforts and present their demo collaboratively. In this case, the demo would be 90 minutes.