National Writing Project

Resource Topics

Policy and Reform - Teacher Leadership

Additional Resources

Incoming NCTE President Sandy Hayes Reflects on Educational Experiences

August 2012
Tiffany Chiao
Sandy Hayes, a former technology liaison with the Minnesota Writing Project, will be inaugurated as NCTE President in November at the NCTE Annual Convention. Hayes discusses her many experiences in education, the important lessons she's learned from each, and what she looks forward to accomplishing now. More ›

Writing Project Principles at the Heart of San Diego School

February 2011
Art Peterson
Teacher-consultants from the San Diego Area Writing Project have opened a charter school that emphasizes writing across the curriculum, teachers teaching teachers, and a commitment to equity and social justice. More ›

The Successful High School Writing Center

This book highlights the work of talented writing center teachers who share practices and lessons learned from today's most important high school writing centers. The authors offer innovative methods for secondary educators who deal with adolescent literacy, English language learners, new literacies, embedded professional development, and differentiated instruction. More ›

Writing for the Public: Teacher Editorializing as a Pathway to Professional Development

October 2010
Jonna Perrillo
Jonna Perrillo, director of the West Texas Writing Project, explores the benefit to teachers, schools, and the community of her Editorial Project, which provides a pathway for teachers to move from classroom questions to published editorials. More ›

Katie McKay: Changing the World Starts with Just a Few Words

August 2010
Art Peterson
Katie McKay, a teacher-consultant with the Heart of Texas Writing Project, exemplifies teacher leadership in action: an inquiring mind, a focus on creative classroom strategies, and the desire and skill to work with other teachers and her community. More ›

Demonstrating Teaching in a Lab Classroom

July 2010
Lisa Houk, a teacher-consultant with the Oakland (MI) Writing Project, details a structure in which "host" teachers provide opportunities for observation by "guest" teachers in a format that allows for preparation, facilitation, and debriefing. More ›

NWP Radio — What Matters to Teachers in Education Policy

June 2010
Many educators have argued that teachers' voices are insufficiently present in discussion about education, and that teachers need to strategize to bring teaching and learning back into the center of policy. More ›

Composing Literacy Leadership in Professional Development: New Meanings of Practice and Process

May 2010
Linda Friedrich, Kyle Shanton, Marilyn McKinney, Tom Meyer
This paper presents illustrations drawn from leaders in three educational settings, concluding that the leaders' deep knowledge and strategic practice—nurtured by the NWP—created effective literacy practice in "followers" and inspired new learning. More ›

Building Leadership for a Sustained Districtwide Writing Improvement Program

February 2010
Nancy Robb Singer, Diane Scollay
This study examines the effects of a three-year professional development program conducted in the Mehlville School District (MSD) near St. Louis, Missouri, from 2004 through 2007. Gateway Writing Project (GWP) provided the inservice program, which was based on established National Writing Project principles. More ›

Teaching Labs and Teacher-Leaders

January 2010
Michael Weller
Michael Weller, a teacher-consultant with the Los Angles Writing Project, details the multifaceted opportunities the writing project has provided him: a chance to teach in a young writers camp, a classroom focused on writing workshop principles, and a role as a faculty leader. More ›

Teachers Are the Center of Education: Profiles of Eight Teachers

October 2009
Seth Mitchell, Maine Writing Project teacher-consultant, is one of eight teachers profiled in Teachers Are the Center of Education. The publication highlights "the importance of teachers and the quality of their work." More ›

Writing Equals Advocacy for West Texas Writing Project

February 2009
Jonna Perrillo's summer institute op-ed project brought teachers' classrooms and educational opinions into the community's homes. Perillo points to the range of creative work that can be supported by the time and strategies the New-Site Leadership Institute provides. More ›

Developing Communities of Practice in Schools

September 2008
The authors describe a successful teacher community of practice as one that is well designed and guided, usually developing one facet of instruction through joint work, supported by a proactive administrator and broad teacher leadership. More ›

A Reunion and a Patchwork Quilt: Taking the Directors Retreat Home

June 2008
Nick Coles
Site leaders who attended the 2007 Directors Retreat reunite to talk about the programs and changes they've implemented at their sites. The Directors Retreat experience continues to live on in unexpected ways. More ›

Rural Leaders, Rural Places: Problem, Privilege, and Possibility

May 2008
Kathleen Budge
Kathleen Budge reveals the disconnect between educators' feelings of privilege residing in a rural community and problems they see for their students in these communities. She calls for "critical leadership of place" based on awareness of this paradox. More ›

Transforming Writing: Teacher-Consultants Lead Change in Their Schools

September 2007
Linda Friedrich
This article analyzes the stories of NWP Vignette Study participants who facilitated change in their schools, identifying and elaborating upon three concepts that seem key to successful leadership within a school. More ›

Teachers, Writers, Leaders

Educational Leadership, September 2007
Ann Lieberman, Linda Friedrich
Using data from NWP's Vignette Study, the authors describe how teachers take on leadership roles and how building community is crucial to their success. More ›

After the Summer Institute: Opportunities for Teacher Leadership

The Voice, 2005
Linda Friedrich
The National Writing Project, along with Inverness Research Associates and Ann Lieberman of the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, has launched a study on the nature of teacher leadership developed through the writing project. This article, drawing on interview data from the study, highlights TCs' descriptions of how they contribute to their students, their peers, and their writing project sites, and how their connection with their local writing project nurtures them as teachers and leaders... More ›

The Professional Leadership Development Project

National Writing Project At Work, March 2005
Zsa Boykin, Jennifer Scrivner, Sarah Robbins
The authors describe a flexible model for promoting teacher leadership within urban schools. This monograph outlines both the individual inservice projects and the framework for leadership development that emerged from the inquiry. More ›

The Saginaw Teacher Study Group Movement: From Pilot to Districtwide Study Groups in Four Years

National Writing Project At Work, March 2005
Mary Weaver, Mary Calliari, Janet Rentsch
The authors describe a districtwide approach to teacher-led study groups that resulted in significant changes in teacher practice and student learning as well as leadership development among teacher facilitators. More ›

Completing the Paradigm Shift to Process Writing: The Need to Lead

The Quarterly, Winter 2003
Samuel Totten
According to Totten, writing reforms have not brought a "paradigm shift" in the way writing is taught. He details how, with the leadership and support of districts and administrators, this can happen. More ›

The Fledgling Years: Lessons from the First Four Years of the NWP in Vermont

National Writing Project at Work, November 2002
Patricia McGonegal, Anne Watson
Authors Patricia McGonegal and Anne Watson, founders of a new writing project site, chronicle their first five years, focusing on the development of school-based inservice. They document the first years of their site, describing the role the site filled in the state, the first summer institute, funding matters, collaborations, and the successes and pitfalls of early professional development. More ›

Tapping the Potential: Building Teacher Leadership While Rethinking Your Site

The Voice, January-February 2000
Ellen Brinkley, Anne-Marie Hall
Why is it that some directors stick around for years and others do not? Why do some "burn out" while others are energized by their work? More ›

Teachers Telling Teachers About the NWP

The Voice, March-April 2000
Karen Kinney
The author describes how, while attending a Washington DC meeting of National Board Certified Teachers, she promoted the work of NWP in a poster session and in the offices of congressional aides. More ›

Fledgling Activist Takes Wing: Testifying for What I Believe In

The Voice, November-December 2000
Carrie Holmberg
Fourth-grade teacher Holmberg's experience testifying about a National Board Certification bill in California gave her insight into effective testimony and inspired her to further activism. More ›

Leadership Profiles: Idaho Site Director Has Energy to Spare

The Voice, September-October 2000
Art Peterson
This new Voice feature—highlighting NWP network leaders—profiles Elinor Michel, director of the Northwest Inland Writing Project, and features descriptions of some of her site's yearly events. More ›

NWP Director Tackles Standards, National Site Support

The Voice, September-October 1999
Art Peterson
More ›

Book Review: Deciding to Lead, by Denny Wolfe and Joseph Antinarella

The Quarterly, Winter 1998
Joseph Milner
Milner concludes that the authors "provide a self-help guide which prompts teachers to steer themselves toward a deeper sense of community yet a stronger sense of autonomy." More ›

The Seven-Year Itch: Politics and Literacy

The Quarterly, Summer 1997
Lucia Villarreal
Villarreal explains how she and her students have suffered as the "pendulum has swung from 'literature based' to 'basic skills,' from 'whole language' to 'phonics first.'" She tells how she has defended against these ins and outs. More ›

Long Hours, Low Pay, Endless Compromises: The Not-So-Big Jump from Teaching to Politicking

The Voice, Fall 1996
Fran Simone
Simone follows the campaign of former site director and teacher Charlotte Pritt as she runs for governor of West Virginia, concluding that there is a direct relationship between effective teaching and effective governing. More ›

One Director's Role as Leader, Contextualizer, Researcher, Enabler, and Site Conscience

The Voice, Summer 1996
Sheridan Blau
Blau reflects on the varied roles a site director needs to hold in focus as he or she pursues the director's job. More ›

Building and Sustaining Capacity: Teacher Leadership and Instructional Improvement in the NWP

July 2007
Paul LeMahieu, Linda Friedrich
The authors propose a research agenda to examine teacher leadership within the NWP that focuses on teacher-consultants and their work, the place of content and instructional practice, leadership development and support in the NWP, and the organization's approach to teacher leadership as investment in educational improvement. More ›

The National Writing Project Legacy Study

July 2007
Sela Fessehaie, Kareen Mo Yang, Linda Friedrich, Paul LeMahieu
NWP's Legacy Study examines the professional experiences and contributions of those who participated in local writing project sites over the period 1974–1994. The study represents a systematic effort to assess and document the NWP's investment in teachers as educational leaders. More ›

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