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Invitational Summer Institute (ISI)

The San Diego Area Writing Project believes that socially responsible approaches to teaching writing support the education and success of San Diego's culturally and linguistically diverse student population. The ISI provides a dynamic, dialogic environment for a diverse group of educators to examine their roles as writers, teachers and leaders.

The theory and practice of teaching writing are examined through individual demonstrations, reading and discussion of current research, and writing and responding in peer groups. Participants will explore the impact race, language, poverty, and privilege have on equity in teaching and learning. Successful completion of the ISI provides opportunities for ongoing collaboration and a variety of leadership roles.

Dates: June 20 - July 14, 2017, 8:00am - 3:00pm

Cost: Stipend paid to new Fellows upon completion of the SI

Credit: Participants may receive UC Extension unit credit for a fee

Description: The Invitational Summer Institute (ISI) is a leadership institute for the K-16 community of teachers and instructors interested in deepening their understanding of the teaching of writing.

The work of the project is guided by the following principles:

  • The best teacher of teachers is usually another teacher who has demonstrated success in a similar situation.
  • Student writing can be improved by improving the teaching of writing.
  • Writing is critical to learning and a vital tool for communication.
  • Effective teachers of writing gain insight from their own writing experiences and also that of their peers.
  • Knowledge about the teaching of writing comes from those who teach, write and research.

Application deadline: January 13, 2017. Download the SDAWP 2016 ISI Application


  • A minimum of five years teaching experience or educational equivalent
  • Experience with teaching writing and a desire to learn more
  • Interest in becoming a part of a professional community of practitioners
  • Participation in a group interview on February 4, 2017; Spring Conference March 4, 2017; SI Orientation/Coaching Day on April 15, 2017; 16 days in summer; follow-up as designated during the 2017-2018 school year

Notification: Selected nominees will be notified of their acceptance by February 18, 2017.

What teachers say about the ISI experience ...

"I see a lot of avenues for myself as a teacher leader in the future . . . because of the influence of so many excellent role models."

"I discovered that I do have skills, experiences, and ideas to offer other teachers and that what I do in my classroom is worth sharing. SDAWP helped me take that step. Now I not only know that I can lead, I want to. "

"I got confirmation that I have good instincts about my approach to teaching writing. "

"As a teacher of writing, I learned the value of sharing and discussing best practices. We learn so much from each other but rarely take the time to do so. The Invitational provided that opportunity. "

"The SDAWP has given me more confidence as a teacher leader than any program I have ever attended."

"I have learned how sharing and talking about your work with others can help to focus and work out areas that you are unsure about and even provide new ideas for your writing."