All teachers are writers. We write all the time. We write lesson plans, incident reports, and journal entries. Furthermore, all teachers also teach writing, composing, problem solving, or creating. The purpose of the Great Bear Writing Project is to honor teachers as writers and to develop and deliver professional development. This helps teachers develop themselves as writers and to learn to develop their students as writers.
Invitational Summer Institute
The Invitational Summer Institute is the core of our professional development offerings. We offer, as funding allows, a free institute each summer for K-16 teachers. Teacher Consultants (former participants) bring lessons that incorporate writing from their classrooms for us. We participate as students, picking up our pens and following along. At the end of the institute, each participant develops their own lesson (with lots of help from veteran Teacher Consultants) and teaches the other participants.
In addition to teaching, we also write every day. Each participant gets the chance to read their work and share with other participants for positive feedback. We do a lot of writing at our Summer Institute, but teachers don’t have to be a great writer to join. We are all on a journey of becoming better writers, and we welcome all teachers, wherever they are on their journey.
Each cohort of GBWP works collaboratively on research and writing projects, which builds community within the group. We all read a writing book and a teaching book and share our insights with one another.