Invitational Summer Institute

Invitational Summer Institute

Refresh your writing instruction. Become a teacher consultant joining our cadre of teacher leaders and presenters.

Every teacher looks forward to rest and reading, to family time and travel when summer arrives.  And some teachers prefer the personal growth of choosing professional development when there is ample time for reflection and a break from the demands of the school year.

Imagine yourself with 20 other colleagues, gathering one morning in July at SJSU for breakfast.  Then enjoying listening to scribe notes and a passage from Anne Lamott (or other writer).  Then you get to participate in two hands on writing demonstrations led by teacher consultants (as models) and then by your peers in the institute.

After lunch you join a small group for afternoon writing. Your facilitator meets with you in a cozy spot on campus you all enjoy.  There’s sharing and there are prompts to write.  You get friendly feedback.

Each day, as the learning community increases in listening and caring, you find yourself in the conversations about teaching writing you need.  And there’s fun in the presentations!

After three weeks, in addition to earning college credit, you will become a teacher consultant with SJAWP, which means, if you are ready, you’ll be invited to present Saturdays, or lead professional development in schools, or work with students in our summer programs. You will have contributed to the ISI anthology and have a portfolio of your own writing.

Another perk is that you will have new friends and a place to come back to write and refresh your teaching anytime during the school year.

Earn graduate college credits

All participants receive a stipend of $450. Those needing units may use this stipend to pay for 3 of the 6 units, at $150/unit, for which their institute participation qualifies them.

Read here what several past participants said about the ISI.


SJAWP has what teachers want.

Experience the perspective of interacting with educators across K-college levels:

8:45-9:00        Breakfast, check-in

9:00-9:30        BxB or DM reading, Scribe notes, announcements

9:30-10:45        First presenter

10:45-11:00        Written responses to first presenter

11:00-11:15        BREAK #1

11:15-12:30        Second presenter

12:30-12:45        Written responses to second presenter

12:45-1:15​       Lunch​

1:15​-4:00​ Writing and Responding in Afternoon Writing Groups

Also enjoy reading and discussing professional books by great authors who teach writing.

Mark your calendar for the orientation

Saturday, May 18th, 2019

Daily sessions run

July 8th-26th, 2019

There is no charge for the ISI. Funding is provided through grants from the California and National Writing Projects and by income provided by other San Jose Area Writing Project programs.


The ISI meets at San Jose State University in Sweeney Hall. Multi–week parking permits are provided for everyone selected for the program.

Note: The application process requires you to provide SJAWP with a letter of recommendation from your principal or district administrator.  You will be contacted by a teacher consultant for an over-the-phone interview after your written application has been reviewed. We look forward to hearing from you.

San Jose State University Campus 7th and San Carlos Streets

Apply for the Invitational Institute 2019, a postgraduate course designed to lift your level of writing instruction and develop teacher leadership.

Invitational Institute Co-directors

Nancy Kennett
English Teacher
Piedmont Hills High School
East Side Union HSD

Laura Romaine Brown
Retired Literacy Intervention Coach
San Jose Area Writing Project Associate Director

Do you have questions?

Dr. Jonathan Lovell, SJAWP Director


Summer is a time for refreshing and travel…and also the best time for educators to do thoughtful work to develop as writing teachers.  For thirty years SJAWP has offered teacher-led summer institutes.  Picture yourself this July with twenty friendly, bright colleagues.  In the morning you gather for breakfast and the ritual of reading scribe notes and sharing a passage from a writer’s book.

Then you participate in two thoughtful, hands on presentations before lunch.  You join your afternoon writing group facilitator as a cozy spot on campus and practice your craft in a small, friendly group.

At the end of the course, in addition to earning credits, you have contributed to the ISI Anthology, enjoyed guest presentations, and you have a portfolio of writing as well as a Drive filled with 20 other great writing lessons.

In addition, if you’re ready, you’ll be invited to work for SJAWP leading a Saturday, or sharing your expertise in school or district PD partnerships.