The Oregon Writing Project at Willamette University
OWP News from the desk of Karen Hamlin
Each November as a site we enter the "Continued Funding Application" writing season, where the site's Leadership Team takes a careful, deep look into the work of the site, assesses where we are in terms of our goals, and makes plans for the coming year. This seems a good opportunity to share some of that information.
Leadership and logistics:
The site is led by a team of Karen Hamlin, Steve Jones, Angela Obery, Melody Munger and Nancy Fischer, who each represent their areas of Summer Institute, In-service and Continuity as well as consider how each investment we make (into people, activities, and resources) enriches the site as a whole. We have happily completed the official move into the new Graduate School of Education and are excited to work with Interim Dean Rita Moore and the M.Ed. task force to create a Certificate of Writing that we hope will contribute to a M.Ed. degree at Willamette. This work is a good beginning to strengthen the partnership between the site and the School. Thanks to Bill Fischer and Linda Wallmark for their efforts to push for this and to work on its creation.
This last project year:
It has been an amazing year for the site. The Summer Institute, led by Nancy Fischer and Mari Stebner, was highly valued by the participants. Participants "scored" our site's Institute with exceptionally high marks in NWP's on-line assessment system, but beyond what numbers can indicate, they embodied the strong writing and teaching professional community that exemplifies the National Writing Project. Steve Jones launched new "teachers as writers" initiatives for the site including a Poetry workshop in which teachers wrote their socks off-and loved it! The Write On conference that Melody Munger organized was again a success in terms of both attendance and quality of sessions-a remarkable feat in this time of furlough days. This was another testament to the willingness of teachers to use non-contract time to become even better at what they do so well. Angela Obery and Grant Huhn have both been awarded grants and used those funds to assemble a technology study group and course that will "ignite" an innovative and exciting technology thread throughout the site. Bill Fischer, Linda Wallmark and Judy Stucky worked with Willamette Academy students to publish a remarkable anthology of their stories. These are just a few of the many activities that made 09-10 such a strong year for the site.
A bit of what we're excited about for 10-11:
The site is delighted that Teacher Consultants are stepping forward to explore new ventures for the site such as Neil Liss' Writing Study Group. We eagerly await the unveiling of teacher films at their premier in WU's new Ford Hall. We hope to announce this year the creation of a new Certificate in Writing-designed (with her encouragement) like Linda Christensen's Certificate program at OWP at Lewis and Clark. We will host a second Visioning Retreat this spring to celebrate the accomplishment of many of the goals from our last Retreat and set new goals for the site. It's an exciting, successful, growing, innovative time-and we welcome all teacherrs to be a part of it. If you want to get involved, excited, and energized, spending time writing and sharing with teachers who love what they do, check out our website at www.willamette.edu/gse/owp/ for information about up-coming activities, study groups, and workshops. Feel welcome to contact Karen Hamlin or any of the Leadership Team with your ideas for how the site can further support area teachers in their writing and work to strengthen student writing and use of writing to learn.