In response to COVID-19, the Glasscock School has moved the majority of our upcoming offerings online. Learn more

Yearlong Mentoring

School Literacy and Culture offers several mentoring programs with a duration lasting from one to three years. These intensive programs can feature monthly seminars, single day retreats, summer workshops, classroom visits and personalized support from an experienced mentor teacher.

Yearlong Mentoring Opportunities

Applications for all yearlong mentoring programs now open!

Sept. 2021 to May 2022

SLC’s Classroom Storytelling program is inspired by Vivian Paley’s storytelling and story acting work. The project combines early literacy research and classroom practice with mentoring and seminar discussions in a yearlong training program where:

  • Teachers implement strategies that help young children extend their vocabularies, develop print awareness, cultivate oral expression and develop an understanding of narrative form through dictation and dramatization of their own stories.
  • Teachers address the role of language acquisition and the cultural dynamics of teacher-student relationships as critical factors for children learning to read and write.
  • Teachers create classrooms that inspire children to read and write through storytelling and other research-based early literacy activities.
  • Classroom Storytelling training includes in-depth monthly seminars and personalized support from an experienced mentor teacher. Mentors visit teachers’ classrooms and share best practices for implementing new early literacy methods.

Priority Application Deadline: May 15, 2021

Apply for 2021-22

2021-2022 Academic Year

This yearlong professional development program combines seminars at Rice University with co-teaching at the Rice Oral and Written Language Laboratory to introduce strategies to promote oral language development in DLLs and English-speakers. It is designed for experienced early childhood classroom teachers whose goal is to become more intentional in developing oral language skills in dual language learners, English language learners or children with limited language.

A sampling of seminar topics:

  • Having extended conversations with children
  • Supporting second language learning in the classroom
  • Bringing stories to life through drama
  • Highlighting children’s interests and stories
  • Using real-life dramatic play scenarios as a tool to develop language
  • Nurturing relationships with children and families
  • Honoring parent voices in the classroom
  • Addressing misconceptions about DLLs

Priority Application Deadline: May 15, 2021

Apply for 2021-22

A Rice University Leadership Certificate program specifically designed for early childhood teachers.

2021-2023 Academic Year

The Early Literacy Leadership Academy (ELLA) is a rigorous two year certificate program designed to bring together early childhood professionals from public, private and charter school settings who are committed to serving as teacher leaders from their classrooms. Teachers chosen to participate in ELLA experience a unique combination of three semesters of monthly seminars and mentored learning plus one semester of independent study, with all four semesters supported by online learning. Participating ELLA teachers will also join in an exclusive two day summer institute in their first year of programming followed by the opportunity to teach at Creative Writing Camp their second summer in the program.

ELLA teacher leaders study child development theory and research-into-practice literacy strategies that promote listening, speaking, reading, writing, and reasoning in year one. Year two brings a specialization in early literacy leadership where participants focus on best practices in leadership and sharing this information with others at their campuses. Teachers completing all requirements of the ELLA program will receive a Leadership Certificate from Rice University. SLC’s Classroom Storytelling or Developing Oral Language programs are a pre-requisite to participating in ELLA.

A sampling of seminar topics:

  • What constitutes quality early childhood education?
  • Child development theory and pedagogy
  • The role of oral language in early literacy development
  • Vivian G. Paley’s storytelling and story acting practices
  • Executive functioning and self-regulation through play
  • The neuroscience of brain development
  • Culture and community
  • Early literacy instruction


Rice University believes in the importance of developing teacher leaders. The Early Literacy Leadership Academy offers a limited number of merit based partial scholarships to highly qualified prospective students. Scholarship opportunities can be discussed during the interview stage of the application process.

What are leaders saying?

Ready to apply?

Application Requirements: Recommendation letters from an administrator and from a peer as well as a current resume.

Priority Application Deadline: March 22, 2021

Apply for 2021

A collaboration with The Herman H. Fleishman Foundation.

Sept. 2021 to May 2022

This yearlong program utilizes a combination of monthly seminars at Rice University and ongoing classroom-based mentoring to provide teachers of 2nd to 5th grade a “deep dive” into best practices in literacy education for 21st century learners.

How should educators address today’s demand for successful test scores while ensuring that students also develop the higher-order creative thinking, reasoning skills and communication skills they will need in the society of the future? Participating teachers will draw upon educational pedagogy and current research in reading and writing instruction to investigate strategies for promoting lifelong readers, writers and thinkers.

Priority Application Deadline: May 15, 2021

Apply for 2021-22