The Writing Eastern Kentucky Conference is only days away and area administrators owe it to their students to send a cadre of teachers. There are many ways teachers can benefit from this event held on the campus of Morehead State University from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 5.
- Every teacher is responsible for teaching writing from kindergarten through college and yet many teachers need more professional development in this crucial 21st century skill
- Writing teachers must write because the best writing teachers understand that to help students become writers the teacher must also be a writer. This position is endorsed by the profession, research, and reputable professional organizations such as NCTE and is aptly described in this 2012 Atlantic article “The Best Writing Teachers Are Writers Themselves.” We open and close the conference with writing sessions and each professional development session will also incorporate writing as well as proven lessons for the teaching of writing.
- Educators need renewal both personally and professionally. Teacher burnout is a real and growing problem. A recent Washington Post article describes teacher morale and working conditions as the primary reasons so many teachers leave the profession. WEKY is a celebration of the profession as well as professional development designed to renew teacher excitement.
- Practical PD led by real, experienced classroom teachers including writing activities that teachers can then take back to their classrooms. Teachers actively engage in these writing activities and create models they can use in their classrooms.
- KWP PD proven to improve writing instruction by a study performed by Terry Hibpshman and Kim Walters-Parker of the Kentucky Education Professional Standards Board (2012). Their study found that NWP methods have also been proven effective here in Kentucky noting “more effective teachers of writing were more likely to have participated in programs of the National Writing Project” and argued “it seems clear that participation in these activities may be the single most attractive mechanism for improving the quality of writing instruction, both for teacher candidates and for teachers already in the classroom.”
- NWP PD works, according to national studies. National Writing Project professional development is among the most powerful and effective available today. National studies have shown that the students of NWP teachers outperform the students of non-NWP teachers on tests and are more competent and confident writers in general. These studies demonstrate that professional development programs designed and delivered by NWP sites have a positive effect on the writing achievement of students across grade levels, schools, and contexts.
- Build PLN at the regional, state, and national level. The Morehead Writing Project offers a network of educators that spans Eastern Kentucky, including both the Morehead State service region and beyond, as well as connections to the Kentucky Writing Project network and the National Writing Project network. All NWP sites are build on the same core principles and offer programs that intersect and build upon the work of the individual sites, state networks, and interstate collaborations.