Feedback was a powerful component. The letter dialogues led me back to questions I had when I first started teaching: How do I teach __? Why do I teach __? Breaking away from the formulaic structures I have been tied to, I am now experiencing a resurgence of what I felt at the beginning of my teaching; authenticity.

Patricia Carrillo, Olinder ES SJUSD

I can say without doubt that this summer institute has been the most beneficial professional development I have been a part of.

John Wou, Horner MS, Fremont USD

From my Afternoon Writing Group, I take away the importance of building trust. Previously I only had my students edit each other’s papers, but not help revise. Now, before my students begin to share revision, I will build community. The bond that my AWG formed was amazing, and they helped me become a better, more confident writer.

Pam Haney, Santa Teresa HS, East Side Union HSD

I learned more at the SJAWP Summer Open Program that any other institute. The methodologies Marty Brandt covered are going to be extremely helpful in my classroom next year.
Saturday Seminars have been invaluable in allowing me to learn from experienced teachers in a collaborative environment where they discuss the challenges and successes they experience daily in a classroom.

Mackenzie Rodriguez

My student life was spent groaning about page count requirements, so writing was a chore. Then in the ISI a teacher demonstrated using “snapshot” memories. Her lesson made it simple to ease into a piece that ended up being much longer and more complex than I ever imagined. This idea came from an elementary school teacher and I’m an AP Language instructor!

Babak Shahrivar, Piedmont Hills HS ESUHSD

I feel like most professional development is for new teachers, or dumbed down. This was not…it was incredible. I’m a better teacher and more prepared to share my learning with colleagues, which made my experience even more meaningful.

Anne Van der Staay, Ellis ES Sunnyvale ESD

Every Saturday workshop gives me inspiration and ideas on how to launch writing pieces, engage students in their writing, and more importantly, where to change my strategies and teaching techniques to be a positive influence in their writing adventure.
It was extremely beneficial to be surrounded by other teachers who are so passionate about their profession – it led to a collaborative spirit and inspiring curriculum development.

Melissa La Joice, Los Gatos HS, LGMV HSD

A 25-year veteran of the classroom needs inspiration as much as a newly-credentialed teacher. The Saturday PLC met my need to explore new ways to reach students. What works one year may fall flat the next, so then it’s time to sign up for a Saturday Seminar series. Even better, reinvigorate one’s instruction and writing in the 3-week Invitational Summer Institute. 

Mike White

I loved the Saturday workshop model with live students. It is a great reminder of how much students are capable of when given the tools and mentor texts to support expressing their own truths. I will continue to build a more student-centered, authentic classroom with reading and writing methods I experienced here.

Ariel Sarver, Westmont HS, Campbell UHSD

2020 West Coast Reading &
Writing Institute
SJSU Campus
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Summer Open Programs

Join a SJAWP teacher consultant and colleagues for productive, focused work in a writing and reading topic for your grade level -- and earn graduate college credit. Four days in a relaxed SJSU setting.

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Invitational Summer Institute

Here's an opportunity for personal growth and professional development, with ample time for reflection and without the pressures of the school year - and the way to become a teacher consultant.

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Student Programs

Students of all grade levels may attend Saturday Seminars. Summer registration is now open in the four summer programs - Creative Writing Camps, Writing Workshop, and Teen Writing Institute.