Summer Leadership Institute

Western Mass Writing Project Group

Summer Leadership Institute July 8 – July 26, 2024

The Western Massachusetts Writing Project’s  annual Summer Leadership Institute will bring together outstanding teachers who work with students in all academic content areas and at all grade levels, PK–college. Supported by the WMWP facilitators and each other, these teachers will spend three weeks immersed in writing, reading, and teacher inquiry, ultimately returning to their schools as WMWP Teacher-Consultants. In this capacity they may contribute to the professional growth of their colleagues; earn extra income leading workshops and courses in area schools for WMWP; and present their research in local, regional, and national venues. In this way, the Summer Leadership Institute represents the first leg in what thousands of National Writing Project teachers around the country have described as a career-transforming journey. 

As participants, teachers will engage in their own writing to explore ways to use writing more meaningfully in their classrooms. They will participate in a collaborative inquiry community: reading current theory and research, engaging in classroom-based action research, and presenting a professional workshop. 

Inquiry will focus on the following themes: 


How can reflecting on my teaching help me ask questions to improve my practice? 



How do I navigate unfettered student access to technology  such as ChatGPT in my teaching practice? How can teachers use technology productively to encourage equitable outcomes? 



How can language be used in a classroom to empower or disempower students? How can students’ native languages be valued in school? 



How can I help students become more confident and effective writers and readers? What writing-to-learn and critical reading strategies can I use to help my students develop their content knowledge and understanding


2024 SLI Facilitators

Jen DiGrazia and Joe Courchesne.

  • Image of Department of English Professor Jennifer DiGrazia
  • Joe member of the Western Mass Writing Project wearing light blue collared shirt smiling.

Fast Facts

Orientation Day: Tuesday, June 4 via zoom from 5-7

Summer Institute: Monday–Thursday, July 8-11 and July 15-18   
Monday–Friday, July 22-26 from  9:00 a.m.–3:00 p.m.

 School-year Follow-up Meetings: October, January, and April, dates to be determined.

YOU GET: 135 PDPs  (total for summer and school-year program) $750.00 Or

6 graduate credits (at $1,194 per 3 credit course=$2,388 for both SLI and Action Research courses) 

COST: We encourage you to work with your school district to cover this registration fee and invest in you as a teacher leader. Please reach out to discuss economic need if it prohibits you from participation.

  • WHO

    PK through college teachers & content specialists in all disciplines

  • WHAT

    The best professional development you have ever experienced


    Westfield State University

  • WHY

    To grow as a writer, researcher, and presenter

  • Membership

    in the WMWP and National Writing Project educator networks

  • Preparation to lead

    professional development programs as a paid teacher-consultant

“This program made me feel more confident as a teacher, writer, and presenter.”


“This was the best PD ever. I think it really elevates the profession… teaching is not a 9-5; it is a vocation. Some educators might lose sight of that when they are bogged down with the politics of their schools. This institute was just a great opportunity to talk with other educators and reflect on our profession. This is vital to our practice.”


“I have concrete strategies to try in the classroom. It was amazing to have a chance to really reflect on my work outside of the school year. I am so glad I did the SLI!”


“I would tell others that no matter what their subject area is, they would benefit … SLI is helpful for all teachers."

— Past SLI participants

Ready to grow as a teacher-leader?

Are you eager to strengthen literacy practices in your classroom to enable students to understand the content more thoroughly and express themselves more effectively? If so, apply to the Summer Leadership Institute today!

Looking to learn more? Visit WMWP.

Campus Globe against cloudy blue sky

Contact Us

Joe Courchesne