Online Summer Institute: Offers community, confidence, and resources

As Site Director Dr. Deanna Mascle and Summer Institute Co-Director Leslie Workman prepare for the Morehead Writing Project’s 2022 Online Summer Institute. this is the perfect time to share some reflections from the 2021 Online Summer Institute. Eleven educators chose to complete the 2021 OSI for either professional development or graduate credit while also developing new tools and lessons to support comprehensive literacy instruction.

Magical Community

One of the most consistent comments about Morehead WP’s OSI is that the experience offers magical and transformative professional development. Much of the feedback focused on the caring community of educators we created and how that community collaborates to share resources and ideas. Others noted that combining the educator of writing with the writer was a transformative experience and the process of learning was so seamless you often did not realize how much you had learned until reflecting at the end. “[A]ll of the work was meaningful- every single thing I did contributed to my own growth or my teacher growth,” noted Morgan Caldwell of Martin County Middle School.

Confidence Builder

One of the essential parts of the transformation supported by the OSI is the boost in confidence for many teachers who note the OSI “made me a better teacher“, “made me a better writer“, and “strengthened my confidence as both a teacher of writing and a writer in a way I had not experienced before”.

“Oftentimes as educators we take on the role of being teacher and lay aside the role of being student, hindering our ability to facilitate the love of learning in our classroom,” said Leigh Koch of Mercer County High School. “This is where the Morehead OSI became my lifeline. Those few short weeks reawakened my love for learning and my love for writing. I then returned to my classroom with new ideas and a refreshed spirit ready to share with my students the veritable richness that had been shared with me. Thus, teacher became student became teacher keeping my circle of learning alive.”

Lessons and Resources

Educators who participate in the OSI also celebrate the resources offered and developed during the OSI experience: “reminded me of many great ways to include writing in my life and curriculum” and “Ideas on how to structure my own courses.”

Some educators return to the OSI because they find the experience so beneficial:

“I was able to break through the writer’s block I had for years last summer during the OSI and when I went back to teaching and the pandemic raged on, I quit writing again. When I came back this summer I figured I would deal with the same lack of confidence I had last summer, but I found the confidence I gained was still there. In other words, the impact of the OSI is not something that only lasts temporarily, it is a long-term change and to me that is real learning.”

Why You Should Sign Up

There is still time to sign up for the Morehead WP’s 2022 OSI and you should as one 2021 participant notes: “it changes your perspective of writing which then in turn changes your teaching of writing.” And another explains:

“I think we turn away from addressing how to teach writing because we all struggle with confidence in our ability to write and communicate well. The OSI takes educators and administrators from all levels and areas and brings them into a community that reflects openly about themselves as writers and practitioners. This combination of community and reflection causes you to have dig deep and find out what matters, which does nothing less than transform your classroom.”

“While all these benefits of the Morehead Writing Project’s Online Summer Institute are true,” said Mascle. “The most often overlooked benefit of the Summer Institute is that it is your membership ticket in the best professional development network ever. The National Writing Project community is amazing and benefits me as a person and an educator every single day.”

If you are interested in signing up for professional development credit then reach out to Dr. Deanna Mascle at Morehead State. You can also earn three or six graduate English credits by registering for Eng 608 and/or Eng 609 during Summer I. If you have questions about the OSI contact Dr. Mascle or Summer Institute Co-Director Leslie Workman or one of the 2021 OSI participants:

  • Scott Taylor: Henderson Community College
  • Marie Stevens: Scott County High School
  • Scott Turbeville: Lighthouse Ministries
  • Kameron Greenslate: Greenup County High School
  • Leigh Koch: Mercer County High School
  • Scott Steele: Maryville College (TN)
  • Morgan Caldwell: Martin County Middle School
  • Amanda Hensley: Greenup County High School
  • Elizabeth Ball: Fleming County High School
  • Ryanna Earls: Fairview Independent High School
  • Kayla Fleming: McKell Middle School (Greenup County)

Learn more about the Morehead Writing Project’s 2022 Online Summer Institute here.