WNYWP 2007 Summer Institute

Summer Institute 2007: The Remix

by Keri Davis and Greg Staniszewski

Every year the Summer Institute inspires us for the upcoming school year. We leave at the end of July ready to teach, feeling a little more professional, and as always, feeling like the writers we yearn to be the rest of the year.
While keeping the core of the summer intact, we strived to bring the Summer Institute into the 21st century. With the infusion of technology and modifications to our daily schedule, this year's Summer Institute program allowed us to evolve while at the same time acknowledging the successes of our past. One of our changes was to begin teacher demonstrations earlier in the SI schedule. New fellows delivered their teacher demonstrations starting week one after participating in two model teacher demonstrations presented by Jennifer Meka-Ratka and Jill Morgan. By adding an additional Pre-Institute day, for a total of two, fellows were given extra time to plan their seed of an idea. Our second Pre-Institute day, a suggestion we took from last year's National meeting, allowed for a mock writing group to be presented. A new addition to our SI line-up was a technology based research component, Red Carpet Inquiry. Groups conducted research and planned an I-movie revolving around core educational issues.
We continued to strengthen our field trip program. Our first field trip to the Albright-Knox Art Gallery was a resounding success. Lead by docent and fellow Julie Ricci, we used art to inspire writing. Our second field trip, a Forest Lawn walking tour, gave us the opportunity to reflect on Buffalo's place in history.
This year we elected a new-fellow liaison in the hopes of keeping our new fellows informed and involved. New fellow liaison Kristen Perillo has already created avenues of communication for the new fellows. We feel this new link between fellows will only strengthen our growing professional community.
As always, the core of the Summer Institute is the teacher- participants. Again we worked with an inspired group of educators intent on bringing writing to the center of all teaching. The SI reminds us every year that there is a population of teachers with similar ideas willing to come together to form a community. The SI is a refuge for all us like-minded professionals. And as always it comes in like a whirlwind and ends all too quickly. Thankfully though, the Summer Institute is just the beginning.

1 comment:

Kristen Perillo said...

Hey 2007 SI Fellows!

Update your email address with me... especially if you use a school email more than a personal one.

Email perillok@gmail.com.