Summer Institute

The Summer Institute (SI) is a three week intensive leadership and learning seminar for teachers of all content areas and grade levels. As an SI participant you will work on developing your own skills as a writer, teacher, and researcher while reading, discussing, and collaborating with other teachers from the Central New York region.

The SI will cover the following topics. Please note that you may not apply for one week at a time, but instead apply for the full three week experience.

Week 1- “Teachers as Writers”  

In the first week of Summer Institute you will focus on personal writing in and out of the classroom. You will explore yourselves as teachers through writing about your practice and about yourselves. You will also spend time creating a personal writing portfolio as a springboard into more writing. The week will end with sharing your writing at an open mic at a local coffee shop.

Week 2- “Teachers as Researchers”

In this week, you will start by asking yourself a “burning question” about your practice. It could be about your teaching, or a problem you are having in the classroom. Through this burning question, you will start to collect and examine research articles and other readings that will help you gain insight into your problem.  You will also share and discuss with others to help deepen your understanding, and start to write about your burning question.  You will also have time to continue with personal writing during the week. The goal of the second week is to have a question and then create an annotated bibliography of resources you could use to write a piece on your burning question.  You will finish the second week, again, by sharing your writing at an open forum.

Week 3- “Teachers teaching writing” 

This week will focus on your writing instruction within the context of your classroom. You will be able to answer and explore the following questions: What does a writing classroom look like? Where do the Common Core Standards fit into my practice?  How can I create a room full of independent writers?  You will read some different theorists on writing instruction and learn from each other through sharing and discussion.  You will continue with both personal writing and with your burning question, teacher research writing.  The week will finish with sharing your writing at the open mic in Cortland.

At the end of the three weeks you will have…

– A portfolio of personal writing

-A collection of personal writing about your profession

-An annotated bibliography of references about your burning question

-A rough draft of a research paper, or the start of a research book

-An idea of how to use the Common Core Standards in your classroom, and a better understanding of how to read them.

-A deeper understanding of who you are as a teacher

-Re-ignited passion for teaching and you will not be able to wait to get started.

How much credit is the Summer Institute worth?

The Summer Institute is designed as a six credit graduate level course through SUNY Cortland. Those participants who are working on a master’s degree or post-graduate credit hours will register for the course through SUNY Cortland, but Seven Valleys will offer a partial tuition waiver to help cover the cost of the courses. These credit hours can also be used as PD hours for still-new teachers in need of hours towards their teacher certification requirements.

For those teachers who do not need graduate credit, you will receive a certificate of completion for 82.5 Professional Development hours for the three week session. These hours can be applied to teacher certification requirements, or be submitted to your school district for Inservice credit. Many of our former participants have been able to use their hours for salary increases at their districts, an added bonus of participating in the SI.  The Seven Valleys Writing Project is a highly qualified provider of professional development sponsored by the TST BOCES.

If you have questions about tuition and tuition waivers, payment, or credit please contact

How Do I Apply For Summer Institute?

Head over to our Seven Valleys site to find out more information and apply.

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