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Reset, Rejuvenate, Reimagine

Our 2022 Invitational Summer Institute theme is Reset, Rejuvenate, and Reimagine. We firmly believe that teachers must practice self care and that writing offers an opportunity to nourish and inspire both educators and students. This is an opportunity for personal growth, reflection, and professional development, without the pressures of the school year. Welcome to SJAWP's Invitational Summer Institute!

There is no charge for participating in ISI. Funding is provided through grants from the California and National Writing Projects and by income provided by other San Jose Area Writing Project programs.



Summer Institute

Who: K-12 teachers across all subjects.

All teachers across all disciplines are welcome at ISI 2022. If you need graduate college credits, you may request a stipend for purchasing (up to) 3 units from San José State University, meaning ISI 2022 is free for everyone. This will fulfill expectations to progress along teachers’ salary schedules.

Where: San José State University 

ISI 2022 will take place on San José State University's campus in the Sweeney Hall building. Please consult the Campus Map to find our location and suitable parking. We recommend that you enter the campus from the South Entrance (7th Street and San Salvador Street), and turn into the parking garage on your left.

When: July 5 - 21, 2022

Week 1: Tuesday, July 5 - Friday, July 8, 2022

Week 2: Monday, July 11 - Thursday, July 14, 2022

Week 3: Monday, July 18 - Thursday, July 21, 2022
Time: 9:00 AM - 3:00 PM with 1 hour lunch breaks

Orientation: Saturday, May 21, 2022 (time to be announced at a later date.)

Weeks at a Glance

Week 1: Reset: Writing for Self Care
  • Writing for Self: Morning Writing Exercises

  • Facilitating Teacher Writing Lesson Demonstration 

  • Participating Teacher Writing Lesson Demonstration 

  • Afternoon Writing Groups

  • Afternoon Writing Classes with Professional Authors

Week 2: Rejuvenate: Writing for Joy
  • Writing for Joy: Morning Writing Exercises

  • Participating Teacher Writing Lesson Demonstration 

  • Afternoon Writing Groups

  • Mocktail Literary Happy Hour + Open Mic Sessions

Week 3: Reimagine: A New Canon of Writers
  • Diverse Approaches to Writing: Morning Writing Exercises

  • Participating Teacher Writing Lesson Demonstration 

  • Afternoon Writing Groups

  • Presentation of Writing Portfolios/Closing Celebration


The goal of the Invitational Summer Institute is to support teachers in developing their personal identities as writers so that they can best support students in their classroom with developing their own unique writing identities. We will spend a significant amount of time writing for ourselves in the ISI.


We believe that writing should be a joyful experience. Many students (and teachers) are intimidated by writing and view it as a chore. We aim to explore approaches to writing that are fun, creative, and more fulfilling. Ultimately, writing should engage the reader and we want to support teachers in crafting writing experiences for students in which they produce meaningful work that we are excited to read.


Much focus has been put on diversifying texts that students consume in the classroom and ultimately we would like to also emphasize diversifying writing forms that students compose. SJAWP has invited authors of diverse texts to offer writing classes throughout ISI and engage in conversation with our educators regarding diversifying texts and writing forms in the classroom. Author visits will be announced at a later date.​


Each day of the institute is composed of personal writing time, demonstration lessons taught by the facilitators and participants, and afternoon writing groups. Mornings in the institute focus on writing instruction. In the institute, teachers will take turns leading a writing lesson for the group. Everyone participates in the hands-on lesson and gives feedback to the presenter. By the end of the institute, you will have experienced twenty unique presentations, containing many possibilities and approaches to writing instruction for you to incorporate into your own practice. The afternoons will be spent in writing classes with our visiting authors and in small group writing sessions led by an experienced facilitator. After debriefing the morning experiences, the writing begins. Writers may develop their personal writing or use prompts the facilitator offers. Your afternoon group will give feedback on your writing and support you in developing your own demonstration presentation.


Invest in yourself! SJAWP’s approach to Professional Development is to offer writing classes for teachers designed by teachers. In three weeks time, in addition to earning college credit, you can become a teacher consultant with SJAWP. As a teacher consultant, you may be invited to present at Saturday Seminars, to lead professional development in schools, or to teach students in our summer programs. Perhaps the best reason to attend the ISI is the camaraderie you will experience with other teachers who love teaching and who are looking to stretch and grow their writing instruction. The relationships you develop with your fellow participants will last a lifetime. The writing project can be your place to reset, rejuvenate, and reimagine your writing identity and teaching practices.


How does a teacher apply for the program?
Teachers can access the online application here. Please note that the application requires teachers to share a description of a sample lesson that they may want to present at ISI and to provide a letter of reference from an administrator.

Why do teachers need to tell us about a lesson they might want to teach in ISI?
All participating teachers will present a 75 minute lesson on writing in order to share their expertise and to receive feedback from our community of dedicated professionals.  We understand that 75 minutes may seem daunting but ample support will be given to all! This practice is beneficial to all participants (including the facilitators) as we walk away with several lessons we can modify to use in our classrooms right away as well as strengthening our individual teaching crafts.  We ask our teachers to assume a learning stance and sit in the role of students in order to reflect upon best teaching practices and to connect with our own identities as writers.  Our program is dependent upon a community of dedicated teachers/learners who can connect with other educators in deep and meaningful ways.

Will coaching be offered for demonstration lessons?
All participants will receive at least two coaching sessions with our facilitators in order to best prepare for their lesson.  Our facilitators are knowledgeable coaches who will do all that they can to bring out the best in each participant.

What is the time commitment of the Invitation Summer Institute?
There will be an orientation approximately one month prior to the beginning of ISI.  Our program runs for three weeks in July from 9am-3pm.  In order to promote balance and self-care we will work for four days each week and take three day weekends to rejuvenate in between sessions.
How many teachers will participate in the Invitational Summer Institute?
ISI is designed for a small cohort of teachers of up to 16 participants.  We provide a more intimate setting in order to promote strong social connections and collaboration. Our teachers frequently leave with lifelong friendships!

I just found out about the Invitational Summer Institute. Can I still apply?
We will accept applications through May. If a teacher is interested in participating after the application deadline passes, they should reach out to the directors listed below.

Who should I contact with additional questions about the program?
Please refer any inquiries to Jane Gilmore or Keysone Manithep, Associate Directors of SJAWP in charge of the Invitational Summer Institute. Jane’s email is and Keysone’s is


Registration is open!


About the


Jane Gilmore

Year 1 instructor Jane Gilmore is an Associate Director of the San Jose Area Writing Project. She is a teacher with over a dozen years of experience in both the classroom and leading professional development for teachers. She has a Masters in education and two teaching credentials (in English and Social Studies) from the University of California at Santa Barbara and a Certificate in Novel Writing from Stanford University Continuing Studies. Aside from working on her own manuscripts, Jane’s favorite endeavor is supporting students in developing their own novels and creative talents. More likely than not, your students have played her original creative writing games at a Saturday Seminar, and she looks forward to helping nourish and flourish the careers of some of our brightest young writers.

Keysone Manithep

Keysone Manithep is an Associate Director of the San Jose Area Writing
Project. She has taught Writing Workshop and Creative Writing during the
summer through SJAWP and has led workshops and seminars for teachers
at San Jose State University. Currently, she teaches 4th grade at Millbrook
Elementary School and this marks her 18th year. She received her MA in Education as part of the LACES (Literacy Across the Curriculum for an Equitable Society) Program at San Jose State University along with a Reading Specialist credential. She earned a teaching credential from San Francisco State University and B.A. in Anthropology from U.C. Santa Cruz. Keysone loves helping students find their writing voices and meaningful stories from their own lives.

COVID-19 NOTICE: We are following San José State University’s COVID-19 policy: anyone using SJSU campus facilities must be fully vaccinated, as defined by the California State University’s vaccination policy, unless you have an approved medical or religious exemption. You will NOT be allowed to attend ISI 2022 if you are not vaccinated.

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