Our school-year professional development model has three mutually-reinforcing components:
- The services of an on-site teacher consultant who works directly with teachers, staff developers, students, and administrators;
- An after-school workshop series, seminar, or study group in the teaching of writing, reading and other literacies for school faculty hosted at the school site;
- Direct work with the schools’ administrators, focused on their literacy goals.
The New York City Writing Project’s model of professional development is based on three mutually-reinforcing components, all of which are designed to support teachers and school/network leaders to expand and strengthen their capacities to implement effective literacy education in classrooms and schools throughout New York City. These components are:
- on-site consulting
- graduate seminars, study groups, and/or workshop series, and
- strategic planning and direct support to school/network administrators focused on their literacy goals.
On-Site Consulting and Classroom Support
On-site support for teachers is provided by a NYCWP teacher-consultant who spends at least one day each week per school working with teachers to plan lessons and projects, coach and model in classrooms, team-teach, recommend and share resources, examine student work samples and assessment data to determine future instructional goals, and encourage the publication of student writing through anthologies, displays, and weblogs. In their work in classrooms, teacher-consultants support teachers so that they can successfully implement balanced literacy practices. They help teachers to initiate and sustain writing groups and literature circles and model ways to introduce students to active listening, accountable talk, revision and editing processes, and writing strategies that foster comprehension and encourage an active critical response to challenging content area texts. They help teachers to establish classroom environments that are rich in resources and in which independent, small-group and whole-class literacy activities can flourish. The on-site teacher-consultant meets teachers where they are and adapts conversation, materials, and support for the individual needs and goals for that teacher and school for the instructional year.
Teacher-consultants also meet with grade-level groups and interdisciplinary teams, participate in department meetings, lead after-school professional development, and organize/facilitate meetings to assist school planning teams with curricular changes. The consultant supports school-based coaches to enable them to serve as leaders for instructional change in their schools. Teacher-consultants also participate in school professional development committees to review and design strategies for implementing reform in curricula, assessment, and pedagogy in classrooms.
Through its teacher-consultants the NYCWP builds leadership within and across schools.They support instructional lead teachers and peer collaborative teachers, as well as instructional coaches, assistant principals, grade-team or discipline-team leaders, and other school leadership to both enhance their professional learning and hone their leadership skills. They help teachers to set up model classrooms for visits by colleagues. They design structured formats for teachers to share and analyze student work samples and assignments at school meetings. They invite and train teachers, coaches and administrators to co-lead NYCWP graduate seminars, thereby nurturing and developing the leadership capacities of successful practitioners. They encourage participating teachers to initiate, facilitate, or participate in study groups and make formal presentations of successful classroom practice at regional meetings and professional conferences, including the annual NYCWP Teacher-to-Teacher conference. In some cases, NYCWP TCs may serve as school-based mentors for new teachers.
Workshops and Workshop Series
During the school year the NYCWP offers after-school workshops and workshop series on-site at a school or at Lehman College. At school-based workshops, which can take place during the DOE’s mandatory weekly professional learning time, staff members gather to investigate ways to incorporate and support literacy development in all content areas. These workshops are appropriate for the full pedagogical staff (depending on school size) or for select groups of its teachers. Some groups we have worked with in the past include new/developing teachers; those who teach a specific grade and/or subject area; those who opted-in for the workshops based on interest; and those identified by administrators as those who could benefit from the work.This service is usually combined with the services of an on-site teacher consultant. All seminars and workshop series are experiential.
NYCWP professional development workshops and seminars address the types of writing and analysis of reading emphasized in the CCLS: evidence-based argument, informational texts utilizing challenging content, and uses of reading and writing to support learning in other content areas, including science and social studies, as well as approaches to determining text complexity, and building content-area vocabulary. For teachers in the early grades, NYCWP professional development addresses age-appropriate literature and informational texts, the development of engaged informational and narrative writing across the school day connected to hands-on science and community/social studies explorations, and how both phonics and word recognition can contribute to fluency, understanding, and vocabulary development. Teachers of all grades will be exposed to both immediately-applicable classroom practices and the research, theory and pedagogy that makes such activities appropriate and successful.
Your School, Your Needs
The NYCWP’s on-site consulting and professional learning workshops can be tailored to the individual needs of your school community. We are happy to speak with administrators about their instructional focus, school strengths, pedagogical concerns, and the feedback they receive during PPO and/or Quality Review to create the most effective professional learning program for your school. We typically meet with administrators during the spring and summer to plan for the upcoming school year. If you are interested in bringing an NYCWP consultant and/or workshop series to your school, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.