Throughout this summer and upcoming school year Stephanie Harper, NCS High School Instructor, will help oversee (in Tennessee) the i3 Grant—a 2-year national study designed to measure and assess the impact of teacher development on students in English Language Arts. Her work will help influence and determine the “best practices in writing” for teachers across the United States. She will work with principles and instructors from the public school system in Marshall County, Tennessee—one of 40 sites selected across eight states—to assess needs and challenges that must be met for students to grow in their writing and communication skills.
Stephanie was accorded this honor because of her association with the National Writing Project (NWP)—a nationwide network of educators dedicated to improving the writing and learning skills of all students. The NWP was one of 20 organizations—selected by the U.S. Department of Education from a pool of 727—to receive the i3 Grant. The NWP is comprised of 200 college and university based sites that serve all 50 states AND work in partnership with area school districts to offer high-quality professional development programs for educators. The Middle Tennessee Writing Project (MTWP), through which Stephanie is associated, is one of those sites and is housed in Middle Tennessee State University,
One of NWP’s core principles that Stephanie subscribes to is “writing can and should be taught, not just assigned, at every grade level. Professional development programs should provide opportunities for teachers to work together to understand the full spectrum of writing development across grades and across subject areas.”
SOUNDS GOOD IN THEORY, how does it translate into the classroom?
Here is an impressive stat: National research studies have confirmed SIGNIFICANT gains in writing performance among students of teachers who have participated in NWP programs. Click here to learn more on that research: http://www.nwp.org/cs/public/print/resource/3208
Stephanie believes that writing is more than learning about syntax and spelling, “Writing is a foundational skill that shapes how we relate to others, resolve conflicts, formulate ideas, and share our views.” That is why she puts a remarkable amount of her time into the MTWP. Later this month she will provide a workshop for teachers who have already gone through a MTWP professional development program. “The NWP is big on teachers teaching teachers,” Stephanie shares. “What I have learned from MTWP and successfully used in my class, I will share with my NCS colleagues.”
When asked what motivates her to be involved in this level of education, Stephanie responded, “I had a mentor, who taught for a long time, share with me, ‘In order to avoid burn-out or boredom a teacher must reinvent him or herself once every 7 years or so.’ I am on year 14, so it was time to find a new challenge—something in a leadership role—something that matters in the larger picture.”
For more information about NWP, visit www.nwp.org.
About Nashville Christian School
Located in West Nashville, Nashville Christian School is a PreK-12 college-preparatory school that offers a high quality, faith-based education to more than 500 students. Nashville Christian School is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) and the National Christian School Association (NCSA). For more information please contact Phillip Montgomery, Admissions Director, at 356-5600, ext.117 or email