Columbia University’s Teachers College kicks off during a busy summer at QUFSD

A teacher helps a student with their writing prompt.

Even though school is out for the summer, Queensbury Union Free School District’s buildings are bustling with learning, movement, practicing, and repairs to prepare for the upcoming school year. 

One of Queensbury UFSD’s recurring trainings is Teachers College, a branch of Columbia University, and their “Reading and Writing Project” program. For the past few years, a portion of this program has been taught at Queensbury UFSD during their summer professional development series for Queensbury’s own teachers. 

According to the Teachers College website, the Reading and Writing Project is a think tank, field-based research team, and provider of curriculum and professional development. The program founder Lucy Calkins and her colleagues developed the image of classrooms as workshops, and developed a host of methods for teaching writing which have since become foundational to classrooms across the world.

Throughout the week of July 11, 2022, Queensbury teachers gathered around roundtable discussions to work through strategies that would assist them in teaching their students to write engaging stories from their lives in conventional ways. 

“Our teachers continue to add tools to their toolbox in meeting writers where they are at and lifting the levels of their writing. This week-long institute provides our teachers opportunities to learn, collaborate and even try out some of the new strategies with our Summer Academy students on campus. We appreciate the District’s commitment to high-quality professional development for our teachers,” says Queensbury Elementary School Principal Jessica Rossetti.

A group of teachers help students finesse their writing skills in a classroom
A group of teachers help students finesse their writing skills using new methods they learned at the Teachers College presentations.
A presenter explains storytelling to a group of teachers.
A presenter from Columbia University’s Teachers College explains tips for teaching storytelling to QUFSD teachers.
Teachers listen to a presenter speak about effective teaching tips.
A presenter from Columbia University’s Teachers College shows ways QUFSD teachers can use simplified charts to explain storytelling.