Inspiring Teachers – Publishing Students: SPI Summer Institute ☆

July 11-14, TC will host the Student Press Initiative (SPI) Summer Institute, where educators of all disciplines will gather to learn about teaching writing, project-based curriculum, and the process of publishing student work.

Institute speakers will include:

Erick Gordon (founder of SPI and the current director of the New York City Writing Project)

Dr. Sheridan Blau (TC), Dr. Ruth Vinz (TC)

Dr. Ernest Morrell (incoming TC professor currently working at UCLA)

Ryan Goble (Mindblue: Making Curriculum Pop!)

Peter Aguero (The Moth)

Seasoned classroom teachers, from elementary to high school, with a wealth of experience in student publication will also be presenting and facilitating workshops. Topics will range from real-world writing assignments and genre-play to integrating pop culture (such as digital publishing and comic books) and oral storytelling into the classroom.

Christine Gentry, SPI Curriculum Consultant and Ph.D. Candidate in English Education explained the emphasis of this year’s Institute:  “It is not just about publishing a tangible book.  There are so many other ways that teachers can do authentic writing projects and have your kids go public with them”.  For Gentry, the beauty of the event is “about empowering students who are so rarely empowered and giving them a voice.”

Two private donations, plus a match by the Development Office, provided scholarships which covered the entire fee for the four-day Institute for 30 recipients.

What is Gentry’s wish for the 60+ participants to take away from the Institute?  I would be most happy if they learned things from the presentations and were able to apply the things they learn in small groups to their plans for the Fall.  The purpose is, ‘here’s what we do, and here’s why we do it.  Now go do it!’  That’s the goal.”

A division of the Center for the Professional Education of Teachers, directed by Professor Ruth Vinz (Enid & Lester Morse Chair, Program Coordinator for English Education), SPI has trained educators and touched students in 100+ public schools in its 12-year history.