when they had finally escaped their own classrooms, 13 teachers
from across south Mississippi elected to spend their summer vacations
in classrooms at The University of Southern Mississippi Gulf Coast
in Long Beach.
are taking part in the Live Oak Writing Project, a special five-week
institute dedicated to improving their writing skills. After their
training is complete on Wednesday, these teachers will provide professional
development for hundreds of their peers in Mississippi's public
and private schools in addition to guiding their students to better
course changes you personally as a writer, and then changes you
professionally," said Suzanne Ishee, a participant in the institute
and a teacher at Pass Christian Middle School. "When you find
your own voice as a writer, then you can help your students find
presented 90-minute lessons demonstrating their use of the writing
process in the classroom. As part of the curriculum, teachers engaged
in "freewriting" and "mini-writing" marathons.
Another highlight of the institute was a writing marathon in New
Orleans from which an anthology will be created containing various
writing samples from the participants.
The Live Oak
Writing Project, established in 2001, is a collaborative program
of Southern Miss and south Mississippi 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 Miss Gulf Coast.
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."
Miss 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
For more information
on the Live Oak Writing Project, contact Dr. Elaine White at (228)