The Teachers College Reading & Writing Project at Columbia University in New York City aims to prepare kids for any and all reading or writing tasks they will face in their educational careers. For over thirty years, their work has been focused on turning students into confident readers, writers, and inquirers who display confidence in language arts skills. To achieve these goals, the Reading and Writing Project supports teachers, administrators, and educational professionals with a variety of research based content in the areas of professional development, curriculum, and instructional methods.
The TCRWP provides a wide range of professional development services, from in school staff development to week long institutes for teachers, from year-long study groups to one hour or one day workshops for reading and writing tutors. Tens of thousands of English tutors and teachers around the world respect the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project as an ongoing source of professional education. Over 4,000 participants return each year to the Teachers College to attend the annual Saturday Reunions, and to date well over 170,000 teachers have attended their week long institutes.
The Reading and Writing Project also provides a variety of useful resources on it’s website to help support the daily work that teachers, administrators, and reading and writing tutors are doing. These invaluable resources include book lists, student work examples, standards, media for the classroom, text sets and samples, and a job board, all designed to be implemented and shared with other educational professionals.
In regards to the school based staff development days, the work the TCRWP does involves the entire faculty and focuses on reading, writing, and content area literacy. Staff development days are spaced throughout the year and Reading and Writing Project staff developers lead demonstration teaching sessions and coaching within classrooms in order to convey state-of-the-art teaching and behavior intervention techniques. The staff developers practice these new teaching methods with school administrators and teachers while providing coaching and content specific feedback to help districts develop new student achievement goals.
Teachers also use and learn from systems of assessment (including standardized tests) and new information related to the Common Core State Standards, as well as how to better support students with special needs or individualized educational plans. The Reading and Writing Project also helps provide specialized services for schools with high volumes of English Language Learners, as well as schools who are implementing Response to Intervention programs.
The Project is eager to work with all types of schools—public, charter, and private—and has established partnerships with schools and districts all around the world. Requests for partnership always exceed their capacity, so priority is usually given to schools that have a high need for reform and require the most support. No matter the school site, the message from the Teachers College is always the same: reading and writing are fundamental skills that all kids must master to become literate, successful adults.
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