-- Eighteen teachers from south Mississippi have elected to spend
their summer vacations in the classrooms of The University of Southern
Mississippi Gulf Coast in Long Beach.
are taking part in a special summer institute known as the Live
Oak Writing Project, which operates on the model of teachers-teaching-teachers.
After their training is complete, these teachers will provide professional
development for hundreds of their peers in Mississippi's public
and private schools.
I was a little worried about giving up most of my summer,"
said Magnolia Park Elementary third grade teacher Vanessa McKee.
"But now, I am glad I came. I am enjoying this thoroughly,
and more importantly, I am looking forward to taking what I've learned
back to my students and my fellow teachers."
The Live Oak
Writing Project, established in 2001, is a collaborative program
of Southern MissGC and south Mississippi's schools dedicated to
improving writing and the teaching of writing in all grades and
across all disciplines. Participants in the project comprise a network
of exemplary classroom teachers -- kindergarten through university
-- who conduct professional development programs for teachers and
administrators throughout the summer and school year.
in this program are the cream of the crop," said Dr. Elaine
White, director of the Live Oak Writing Project and assistant professor
of English at Southern MissGC.
these teachers have been selected through an extensive interview
and application process, and they come highly recommended by their
principals and colleagues. These teachers already do a lot of what
good teachers need to do. This program builds on that and helps
give them the tools that allow them to become even better teachers."
The Live Oak
Writing Project focuses on the teaching of writing for practicing
teachers, while providing a model for ongoing professional development
that builds independent local programs.
program, I am becoming a better writer both personally and professionally,"
McKee said. "The enthusiasm in this program is contagious -
I am learning from the other teachers, and together, I think we
will all be able to take what we've learned and make a positive
impact in the writing of our students."
program is an affiliate of the National Writing Project, which is
composed of sites in 49 states, Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico and
the Virgin Islands. The Live Oak Writing Project is also a part
of the Mississippi State Network and an affiliate of the Mississippi