Thursday, September 16, 2010

Prestwick House Holds Successful Summer Institute on Instruction and Assessment

“I was rejuvenated! I wanted to read literature again. I bought six books to read during this two-week period.”
- J.D.

“This summer institute was awesome and one I would gladly recommend to any teacher.”
- M. P.

“Thank you for your personal feedback on the assignments—I found it thought-provoking and helpful. I appreciated being treated as a professional.”
- J. D. (different from the one above)

From Monday, June 28, through Friday, July 9 (with a day off for Independence Day), four teachers from a variety of Delaware school districts visited Prestwick House Corporate Headquarters in Smyrna for the first annual Prestwick House Summer Institute on Instruction and Assessment. During the course of this forty-hour inservice program these dedicated teachers read (fiction and nonfiction), wrote multiple-choice and essay questions, wrote essays in response to other participants’ questions, and rewrote, revised, and reexamined many of their “tried and true” classroom practices to see whether there might be ways to make their instruction more “intentional”—more pointed toward the knowledge and skills of the English language arts discipline than simply a collection of trivial facts about a few specific stories, novels, and plays.

For their effort, participants received forty of the ninety course-hours required for recertification in Delaware.

Each day was exhausting—luckily the corporate honchos at Prestwick House were generous with the coffee, muffins, ice cream sandwiches, potato chips …—but each day was also exhilarating. As the above quoteables testify (the fourth participant, R. T., used her comments section to give us a really neat idea for next year), a grand time was had by all.

I know I had a great time pretending I was back in the classroom—this time teaching students who actually had some background and were interested in what was being taught! (And I did not have to take papers home every night to grade.)

We’ll be doing it again next year (specific dates to be announced). If you’re a Delaware teacher, we’ll be able to offer you the same forty hours we certified for this year’s teachers. If you’re nearby but not in Delaware, we can’t (yet) offer you inservice or recertification credits, but we can maybe get Jason to buy us ice cream again.

But you’ll want to respond quickly when you receive your notification. This year, every participant advised us to keep the Institute small to allow for personal interaction and feedback.

So, have a great school year, and maybe we’ll see you in the Café this summer.


Anonymous said...

How may a teacher from Texas participate in this? I buy and use many of your products but this summer institute looks like a wonderful experience.

Annie Rizzuto Urbanik said...

I'm not sure if we're able to include out of state teachers at this time, but please feel free to email Doug Grudzina ( for more information!