The Loudoun County Public School District in the Commonwealth of Virginia sponsored an introductory program (Life Context) module for nineteen of their teachers. Dave Abrogast, one of our certified instructors who works for the school district in English curriculum development, led the 12 hour workshop.
To accommodate the scheduling needs of the teachers, the workshop was held one evening per week for four weeks in three hour sessions. These sessions were followed by a three hour discussion on the fifth week that covered how teachers could use selected exercises with their students in either their original or an adapted form. The weekly sessions (as opposed to the traditional format of two consecutive days of six hours each) were made possible in part by the fact that the leader lived in the school district.
The program was marketed to English and Language Arts teachers through the district's professional development program. The teachers taught all different age groups of students, ranging from elementary to high school.
Since the program qualified for professional development credits for teachers, the school district funded the program in its entirety. This financial support was critical in generating the group size of nineteen teachers.
The written evaluations provided by the workshop participants demonstrate that the workshop was well received. See Endorsements section within Teaching. Participants rated the program highly in terms of re-examining professional goals, helping them become a more effective teacher, using some exercises with students, and recommending the workshop to other teachers. Teachers learned new ways of approaching writing with their students. One teacher said "This class has really opened the world of writing and teaching writing to me again...I've also obtained so many great insights and ideas into inspiring my very young students to enjoy the process of writing..."
The workshop helped many teachers stimulate their interest and skill in writing. Christina St. Clare, a language arts and English teacher, stated that the "workshop helped me to get back in the grove of writing." Another teacher said the workshop was helpful in "rediscovering how much I love to write!" Taylor Kane stated that this workshop "was perhaps one of the most enlightening experiences I have had as a writer and human. I would highly recommend this program to fellow writers."
The teachers also appreciated the focus after the workshop in which Mr. Abrogast discussed how selected exercises could be adapted or used directly with their students. English teacher Peter Stephens said "I was surprised and exhilarated by the discussion we had about ways of adopting these exercises to classroom use."
Teachers will be afforded opportunities to participate in other Intensive Journal programs in the series where they can learn additional skills and techniques.
For information regarding how your school district can host an Intensive Journal program for teachers, please contact Jon Progoff at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 216-342-5170.