THE INDIANA WRITING PROJECT prides itself on providing quality professional development in our transformational Invitational Summer Institute each summer. Read what teachers have to say about what they gained through the ISI experience.
"I never considered myself a writer. Of course, I wrote parent newsletters, notes home, lesson plans, and other pieces that I needed to write for classes or documentation. I also felt I was a good writing teacher. The greatest revelation in the summer institute, for me, was that I really did need to be a writer first to be a more effective writing teacher. Then I wrote. I started feeling the aching with caring. I became a writer."
"I was amazed at how much I learned over the course of four weeks. As a matter of fact, in Chapter 10, “Growing Taller In Our Teaching”, of Wondrous Words, Katie Wood Ray stated perfectly how I felt about the experience, “Sometimes, maybe we can learn too much too fast. Sometimes, we can learn so much—all at once—that it changes who we are…really good learning does that for us—it messes with what we think we know, creating a tension in our lives that can be uncomfortable.” During IWP, I learned firsthand that writing has power. I cannot wait to share that power with my students."
"In the very beginning of Summer Institute, I couldn’t believe it, I was hooked! Hooked by topics to use in social studies such as: writing to learn, writing for a real audience, writing for a purpose, and oh so much more. I now realize, I AM A WRITER! I LOVE IT! I cannot express in words how much I have valued this wondrous experience at the Indiana Writing Project. I had heard from some that the experience at IWP is life changing—I guess some need to experience it to believe it."
"I knew there were better ways to teach writing, and I wanted to know about them. From these humble beginnings, the power of the process began to reveal itself. It has changed my life, and I’m feeling the power! I never thought I would be one of those people who say, “It changed my life,” but it has…in many ways!"
"This is the first experience of this type where the community made such an impact in an educational setting."
"Writing will be the vehicle that I will use to release my captive soul. It will be the window I not only see out of, but also allow others to peek into."
"No longer will my students have meaningless writing. No longer will they be writing by themselves as I sit on the side and watch. No longer will I treat their written work as nothing more than an assignment. Instead, my classroom will be filled with writers. Writers discussing and sharing their writing. Writers conferencing with one another. Writers publishing work that they are proud of. Writers proud of what they have written. Writers aching with caring."
"How could I think of teaching writing without being a writer myself? Talking with writers, writing myself, conferencing about my writing, and learning that revising my writing is part of the writing process has helped me understand that writing is hard work; it takes time and commitment. Writing isn't easy for anyone; even authors find writing to be difficult!"
"Many things have helped this summer; however, if I had to narrow it down to just one thing, I would say the opportunity to write has been the most helpful. I am a firm believer in the theory that if you want to become good at something, you must practice. Thus, the chance to practice writing was helpful to me. It helped me grow more confident as a writer and as a teacher of writing who will share his work with his students."
"Teachers of writing, fragile as seedling plants, need their own kind of Miracle-Gro."
"So I shall go forth to sew together the patches of language that I want to be a part of my voice quilt and help my students piece together their quilts."
"I can't remember being in a safer environment to discuss, think out loud, and pretty much be yourself. It's stimulating and refreshing! Liberating! There aren't many places where one can be oneself and still be liked."
"I feel so energized by ideas."
"There is no doubt that I came into this writing experience with quite a "not so sure" feeling. I wasn't positive what the overall spirit of the workshop would be...the traditional ideas versus the more innovative and even radical positions on teaching writing, grammar, and anything else. I have discovered that I had already begun to employ some of the philosophies and techniques of the IWP in my classes, unaware that I was on similar ground. When it became apparent that there would not be a real clash here, I decided that I wanted to learn more. And, so I have."