Build stronger teachers
At the National Summer School Initiative, partner teachers from around the country hone their craft guided by expert mentors—watching their moves and making them their own.
The heart of our model is an intensive investment in professional development. Before the program launches, every participating teacher will benefit from a three-day
Institute that deeply prepares them in the specific pedagogies, curricula, and teaching methods. Then, each week, teachers will join their peers across the country for a
professional development session led by their mentor teacher.
The emphasis is not on academic procedures but rather meaning-making—preparing to incite students' curiosity. Looking ahead at the week's specific lessons, each session focuses on the two essential levers of great instruction:
intellectual preparation and
student work analysis.
Professional development that works
NSSI's 2021 summer session began with a bang at our week-long Institute for participating teachers around the country. Our ratings from the over 225 participants were off the charts!
“The session was effective in helping me prepare to have a strong summer school.”
On average, participants strongly agreed with this statement, ranking it 4.7 out of 5.0
“The session presenter was engaging and knowledgeable."
On average, participants strongly agreed with this statement, ranking it 4.8 out of 5.0
“The session objectives were clear.”
On average, participants strongly agreed with this statement, ranking it 4.6 out of 5.0
In our program, teachers meet colleagues from across the country and are welcomed into a dynamic new community of educators.
In intellectual preparation, teachers have the time to go deep in the novels, texts, and mathematical problems they will be exploring with their students the next week.
They master the next week's texts or math problems (and generate a love for it), anticipate student misconceptions, and develop the "roadmap of questions" that will guide students to making meaning—without taking away from them the intellectual work.
In student work analysis, teachers look closely at what their students are actually producing. Teachers ask themselves, what can the work tell me about my students' conceptions? And how should I adjust my course?
This past summer, students were given 30-minute pre-tests in both literature and math on the first day of the program, and post-tests as the program ended, both constructed of released state exam items. In just five weeks, students made major gains in proficiency across grades and subjects. On average, math students with NSSI improved more than 15 percentage points (from pre-test to post-test), and literature students improved 10 percentage points.