National Writing Project

About New-Teacher Initiative

NWP's New-Teacher Initiative (NTI) supported local writing project sites expanding their work with new teachers (0–3 years' experience) in their service areas, with a particular emphasis on the teaching and learning of writing in high-needs schools.


  • To expand and develop the role of the NWP as a resource in working with beginning teachers, to enhance their success as teachers, to aid in retention of promising teachers, and to develop their leadership for the profession
  • To help local sites establish professional learning communities that incorporate new teachers and respond to their particular strengths and needs through the writing project
  • To help writing project sites develop and strengthen successful local models for supporting new teachers and establishing professional learning communities that contribute to their success and retention, with a particular emphasis on high-needs schools
  • To contribute to the field by making explicit the characteristics of effective models of local support, including the focus on specific writing content and the particular professional development strategies that have been most useful for beginning teachers.


Although writing project sites have served new teachers throughout their history, the impetus for a systematic emphasis on new teachers grew out of dramatic statistics related to new-teacher retention, especially in large urban school districts. Responding to these statistics and to the experiences of writing project sites in urban school systems, the Urban Sites Network developed a concept paper in 2001 calling for a national focus on new teachers.

With the support of the W. Clement and Jessie V. Stone Foundation, the NTI was created in 2002, and nine urban writing project sites were awarded grants to develop a year-round program for working with new teachers. In 2003, a second cohort of nine sites was funded, expanding the program from urban sites to include any site that had an interest in serving new teachers in high-needs schools.

Although each site's program was uniquely designed to reflect the context, needs, and ways of working that are locally appropriate, NTI programs exhibited common themes and approaches that reflected the NWP's beliefs and principles concerning the teaching of writing, teacher leadership, and professional communities.

Leadership for the NTI was provided by a national team of directors and teacher-consultants with expertise in new-teacher development from local sites across the country and was coordinated by Marci Resnick and Linette Moorman with documentation and evaluation support from Inverness Research Associates.

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