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July 24, 2014

Last Updated on by Jane Higgins

Programs & Seminars


The NYCWP offers a variety of on- and off-site Professional Development opportunities for teachers.  While some of our options must be hosted by your school, other programming is available to all interested parties.  Below is a list of some of our most popular offerings:

  • Invitational Summer Institutes offer teachers a leadership experience in the teaching of writing and reading. Participants explore ways to improve the teaching of writing in the classroom, and prepare to disseminate strategies and methods to larger audiences of teachers. These institutes bring together ELA and content-area teachers from elementary, middle, and high schools across the city. All institutes balance theoretical, practical, and experiential components and encourage adaptation of sound literacy education practices and applications. Teachers leave summer institutes with new lessons and resources, and with draft action plans that inform their curriculum and instruction in the coming year.
  • Summer Open Institutes consist of four full-day workshops for teachers interested in learning more about the NYCWP’s student-centered approaches to teaching literacy. While these courses are appropriate for all teachers, they are specifically designed for those with little prior NYCWP experience, those who are new to the classroom or who have recently changed grade or content area, or for anyone who would like a refresher course about the NYCWP’s methodology and pedagogy.
  • Our Teacher-to-Teacher Conference is one of the highlights of the NYCWP’s year.  The conference features keynote and plenary addresses as well as a wide variety of teacher-run workshops.  The NYCWP believes that teachers teaching teachers is one of the most powerful tools that we have and, as such, supports and coaches teachers in designing their own workshops for presentation.  Past Teacher-to-Teacher keynote speakers have included Justin Torres (We The Animals), Peter Elbow (Writing with Power; Writing Without Teachers), Ernest Morell (Director of the Institute for Urban and Minority Education), and Walter Dean Meyers (Monster; Bad Boy; Scorpions).  
  • Graduate Seminars are designed for groups of teachers of all disciplines, staff developers, coaches, and administrators from a school or network and are customized to address specific instructional or curricular needs and goals. Seminars are offered after the school day or on Saturdays, either at a school site or at Lehman College. The format and extended time of a graduate seminar allow teachers to develop and apply a theoretical foundation in literacy development for specific grade levels. Seminars help to form networks within and across schools and promote communities of practice.
  • Study Groups and Facilitated Inquiries are designed for a group of educators to explore topics relevant to the specific context of their school or network. Participants work collaboratively within or across grade levels to study current issues and challenges, such as the expectations of the CCLS, text complexity, the teaching of argument, or writing from evidence. Participants engage in professional reading, teacher research, review of student work, and discussion of emerging school-based issues. Study groups are offered after-school, on-site or on a series of Saturdays. These groups are often formed to address the needs of particular audiences such as new teachers, ELL teachers, or educators in specific content areas.
  • Day-long Institutes focus on special topics in literacy instruction, chosen in collaboration with school or network staff. Institutes are held at Lehman College or at a school site, either during the school day (for participants who are released to attend) or on Saturdays. Possible institute topics include: using student work to inform instruction; writing and reading in the ELL classroom; supporting student achievement through the integration of writing and reading in the social studies classroom; or using writing as a tool for thinking and learning across the curriculum. The NYCWP typically hosts day-long institutes at Lehman College on NYC DOC Chancellor’s PD days (Election Day, Brooklyn-Queens Day, and so on), but may also offer sessions on days when school is in session, as well.
  • Professional Development Workshops are offered at Lehman College and can be attended in lieu of professional development at your school on Chancellor’s Days (Election Day, Brooklyn-Queens Day, etc).  Some Professional Development Workshops are also offered during the school day.  While these workshops address a wide variety of topics, instructional or curricular needs and goals, all of our professional development workshops qualify for the 175 hours of PD that are required by some NYS licenses.
  • Hybrid Workshops are tailored to meet the needs of teachers whose outside of school commitments may prevent them from participating in longer workshop series or graduate seminars.  These workshops, which cover content similar to those of our graduate workshops, study groups and workshop series, consist of a combination of in-person sessions and online meetings.