Fancypants, Pen Pals, and Real English: Making Space for Learning with Uncertainty

Gregory Masterson Booth English Teacher Sheridan High School Thornville, OH “It is impossible for a man to learn what he thinks he already knows.”—Epictetus I’m stating the obvious when I say schools exist as a mechanism to help shape a society through the shaping of individuals, and that we seek to shape those individuals by instilling

[continue reading…]

The Bread Loaf Teacher Network digital journal, published semi-annually, is made possible by a grant from the Arthur Vining Davis Foundations. This issue is co-edited by Tom McKenna, BLTN Director of Communications, and Sheri Skelton, M.A. '97, English Teacher at White Mountain, AK and longtime Bread Loaf Teacher Network member. Dixie Goswami, BLTN Director, provides the guiding vision for the network and its digital initiatives. Contact Dixie Goswami or Tom McKenna for more information or to submit content for upcoming issues.

Advocacy, Achievement, and Ability: Unleashing the Power of BLTN

The theme of the Winter 2019 issue of the Bread Loaf Teacher Network Journal, Advocacy, Achievement, and Ability: Unleashing the Power of BLTN, grows from BLTN's core belief in the ability of youth to enact positive social change. In this issue, we sample the activities of BLTN NextGen, a youth-driven social action network. We hear from Professor Cruz Medina who discusses the shifts in his multimodal writing class in response to student advocacy for increased accessibility to learning via digital media, and we hear also from Dewight Leupp, Bread Loaf NextGen Intern, who reflects on his challenges with sight, and the abilities he discovered and refined in keeping youth perspective fresh during summer BLTN work. We also capture a provocative and encouraging conversation between Bread Loaf Professor Brenda Brueggemann, and professional captioner Norma Miller. In this video created by What's the Story? Vermont's Tim O'Leary, Brueggemann and Miller touch on how the practice of video captioning is enabling for those experiencing hearing challenges, and also for all who value the written word.

Our feature story, Gregory Masterson Booth's brilliantly candid "Fancypants, Pen Pals, and Real English: Making Space for Learning with Uncertainty," is a narrative that at once illustrates the complexity of teaching high school English in our polarized contemporary society, and highlights his capacity to listen to his students, to challenge them, and to fuel his own teaching through candid and honest reflection.

Readers interested in how Bread Loaf coursework inspires teachers to engage students with one another, with public audiences, and with social change, should read the brief reflections from BLTN teachers Brent Peters, Amelia Gordon, and Mery Lizardo. "Bringing it Back" gives a flavor of the content of Bread Loaf courses on each campus, and a sampling of teachers' plans to enable students.

Whether it is an individual story or this issue as a collective, the contributors--students and teachers--push us to see that advocacy takes a range of forms and fuels student and teacher achievement. This issue documents how integral youth and teacher advocacy are to changing the narratives about student leadership and success.

-Beverly Moss, BLTN Director

BLTN Teachers

BLTN NextGen: A Youth Social Action Movement

The Next Generation Leadership Network (BLTN NextGen) is a collaboration between Middlebury College’s Bread Loaf School of English (BLSE) and Ivan Allen College at the Georgia Institute of Technology. Working with underserved youth in six sites across the United States, the network is currently funded by the Ford Foundation. The network seriously engages the question:

[continue reading…]

Bringing it Back: BLTN Teachers Bring Home Summer Learning

In this issue, we feature reflections from three Bread Loaf Teacher Network fellows on their summer learning, and on how that learning translates into collaborative teaching and social action plans for the 2018-19 school year. We are pleased to present reflections from Brent Peters who studied in Vermont, Amelia Gordon, from the Oxford Campus, and Mery

[continue reading…]

BLTN Action Grant Funds Young Adult Book Club

Kurt Ostrow English Teacher B.M.C. Durfee High School Fall River, MA Ken Macrorie Fellow Last year, inspired by Nancie Atwell’s 2017 Drew Lecture at Bread Loaf Vermont, I dove deeply into the field of independent reading. I have grown, laminated, labeled, and sorted a classroom library of well over 400 high-interest books. I have built

[continue reading…]

BLTN International

Writing for Peace: ABL in Karachi and Mumbai

BLTN Leader and Andover Bread Loaf Associate Director, Rich Gorham (BLSE ’01) kept the Bread Loaf community informed as he worked with Mohsin Tejani (BLSE ’01), founder of the School of Writing in Karachi, Pakistan, and Lee Krishnan (BLSE ’07), teacher at Diamond Jubilee High School in Mumbai, India, to plan the 2018 Peace Literacy

[continue reading…]

One Word at a Time: Peace Literacy in El Salvador

The Andover Bread Loaf Peace Literacy Network’s tradition of going global with writing workshops landed with full creative force in El Salvador this summer. The Peace Literacy Network is inspired by the Andover Bread Loaf model of democratic, participatory expression as personal and professional development. Here are excerpts, taken from the project blog at http://ablelsalvador.blogspot.com, from

[continue reading…]

Campus News

Santa Fe Spotlight: Teaching Multimodal Writing in a Digital Age

Dr. Cruz Medina’s students rave about the balance of theory and practical application they experience in his course, Multimodal Composition in a Digital Age. Since the course will once again be offered on the Santa Fe Campus in Summer 2019, I thought it would be fun to interview Cruz about the class, and to highlight

[continue reading…]

Caption That!

Why it is important to caption your videos? How might captioning add to your content, and why might you want to become a captioning advocate at public events? This spirited conversation between Bread Loaf Vermont faculty member, Dr. Brenda Brueggemann, Professor and Aetna Endowed Chair of Writing at the University of Connecticut, and Norma Miller,

[continue reading…]

Sites DOT MiddleburyThe Middlebury site network.