Teachers with poet Ted Kooser

Pius X High School Embedded Institute 2005-06

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Seeing the world through the eyes of a runner, bedtime stories and memories of Christmas past, are just a few of the pieces being created by writers involved in the Pius Embedded Writing Institute.

Writing across the curriculum has been a long term goal at Pius X High School. In order to encourage all teachers to become writers themselves, we are currently in our third year of the Pius Embedded Writing Institute. With the completion of this year’s institute, Pius X will become the first school in the state of Nebraska to have all faculty members and administrators participate in the Nebraska Writing Project through summer and embedded institutes. This year’s participants are exploring ways to add writing to the chemistry classroom, creating best-practice lesson plans for foreign language students and enjoying writing their own personal poetry and narratives about family and faith.

Incorporating Place-Consciousness in a Summer Institute

In the summer of 2005, Pius X High School hosted a unique open Summer Institute. Teachers interested in advancing their writing skills, and those of their students, wrote their own pieces, read professional works and shared their best writing practices with other teachers. Though this may sound like the regular Summer Institute experience, this Institute was unusual because it was a Faith-Based Summer Institute drawing on a sense of “place”for teachers in parochial schools.

Readings were both professionally and spiritually based and offered participants the opportunity to explore their own sense of place. Guest speakers from the area, including Mary Costello, author of Still Full of Sap, and Ted Kooser, author and Poet Laureate, discussed poetry, publishing and producing writing for both teachers who now see themselves as writers and for their students they hope to inspire. Following the National Writing Project’s model, Pius and NeWP TC’s coordinated this unique Institute to the great satisfaction of all involved.

“My overall perception of this past week has been so powerfully helpful for me in the countless dimensions of my life… I could not ask for a more fruitful experience.”

“This writing project has given me confidence in what I write and has opened many doors. I feel I can use many of the techniques we have used to help the student write (prompts, free write, visual and audio images.”

“This institute has opened my writing door more; it was only cracked in the past. Writing is relaxing and satisfying – it frees the spirit. I’m grateful for all the encouragement and sharing.”

Other schools interested in designing an Institute to meet their specific needs, or those interested in an Embedded Institute, may contact Dr. Robert Brooke, UNL Director of the Nebraska Writing Project, for further information.

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