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Starter Writing Institute (SWI)


ELIS hosted the Starter Writing Institute (SWI)* from 2 to 16 July 2014. Sixteen Lead Teachers (LTs), Senior Teachers (STs) and Master Teachers (MTs) were selected to attend the Writing Institute which was facilitated by Mr Roel Vivit, a Teacher Consultant for the Chicago Area Writing Project (CAWP) and Director of Academics at Polaris Charter Academy.

During the Starter Writing Institute (SWI), the teacher participants experienced themselves as writers through a variety of activities ranging from daily quickwrites, when teachers wrote for a few minutes every day, to saturation writing, which involved the 16 participants taking their pens and writing pads to a museum to thoroughly immerse themselves in the artistic ambience before they wrote.

These activities raised the participants’ awareness of the writing process and allowed them to explore their personal purposes and strategies for writing. More importantly, the participants fell in love with writing again and could not wait to bring that passion back to their classrooms. The SWI also gave the participants time and space to read relevant literature to develop a better understanding of the theory-practice nexus of teaching writing. As teacher-leaders responsible for sharing their learning with their peers in school, the participants were also guided to conduct lesson demonstrations.

The SWI was a rare opportunity for the participants to step away from the busy-ness of school and invest in their own professional development. In the process they also built up a strong community of teacher writers who were ready to take their enriching experiences back to their colleagues and students.

* The Starter Writing Institute has now been re-named the Singapore Writing Institute.