University of Colorado’s Denver Writing Project is our local affiliation with the National Writing Project-- the only national professional development organization that focuses on improving teaching of writing at all grade levels for teachers of all contents (with over 200 sites in the US). The DWP model is designed to provide support for self-directed professional learning for teachers and by teachers that addresses exigent challenges or questions that arise from the everyday work of teaching young people. Essentially, our model puts teachers in charge of their own professional learning.
One way to promote leadership from teachers is to ask for their genuine input and to allow them to design and deliver their own PD. Our Invitational Summer Institute model invites teachers to spend 3 weeks immersed in the practice and scholarship of writing and the teaching of writing in all disciplines. Teachers develop demos and present them to the rest of the workshop group, ultimately fine-tuning and presenting them at their home schools. This teachers-teaching-teachers model of self-directed PD professionalizes us all.
In addition to the model that DWP has been facilitating for over 20 years, the Teach to Lead initiative has inspired us to add a Best Practices Narrative column to our newsletter and extend the invitation to teachers-- in all disciplines, from all levels-- to submit their own best practices to be dispersed via newsletter to other Denver-area teachers.