Many Faces of Lawrence

by Mary O’Brien Guerrero, Owner of El Taller and Book Store and Café Lawrence, Massachusetts MA ’04 “Lawrence is like a big book of history.” —Joel Tshimbolonga, sixth grade student from Rising Loaves In a quiet red brick compound on the corner of Essex and Union Streets in the heart of Lawrence, students attend the Bread

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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.

Beyond the Narrative Barrier: Reclaiming Teaching Stories

In "Many Faces of Lawrence," Mary Guerrero writes, "As immigrants, and sons and daughters of immigrants, their struggles might be viewed as a language barrier, a cultural barrier, or an economic barrier, but it is also a narrative barrier. If a negative narrative becomes the accepted perception, then that is what gets internalized."

In this issue of the BLTN Journal, we feature teaching, leadership, and reform stories that take readers beyond a narrative barrier which results when teachers and students are not the ones composing the primary stories about public education in rural and urban settings. The stories we highlight here, from Lawrence and Boston, Massachusetts, from Mumbai to Nairobi to Karachi, to White Mountain, Alaska and the Navajo reservation, work against the the prevailing deficit narratives in popular media.

The theme for this issue also acknowledges the visionary leadership of Dixie Goswami, who with Peter Stillman in 1987, edited Reclaiming the Classroom: Classroom Research as an Agency for Change. Dixie's abiding faith in the power of teachers to reclaim the narratives about teaching and learning, and her refrain that students are "resources to be tapped rather than problems to be solved" are visible in each of these teacher's stories.

Writer, researcher, and Bread Loafer Nancie Atwell's "My Teaching Story," a section of the opening to In the Middle, Third Edition: A Lifetime of Learning about Writing, Reading, and Lives of Adolescents, acknowledges the range of Dixie's impact on teachers, writers, and students. Ms. Atwell writes in her acknowlegments: "At the vanguard of the teacher-as-researcher movement, Dixie urged me to observe my students by writing about them." (19)

We invite you to add your own voice and observations to any of the teaching stories in this issue.

BLTN Teachers


VT-BLTN Kicks Off What’s the Story? 2.0

by Bill Rich Vermont Bread Loaf Teacher Network Coordinator and Project Director MA ’99 On September 18—after a summer of restructuring, redesigning, and re-energizing—the VT-BLTN team welcomed this year’s cohort of 21 middle and high school students to Middlebury College for a day-long kickoff of What’s the Story? The Vermont Young People Social Action Team,

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Youth Writer Spotlight: Ty Fierce Metteba

Ty Fierce Metteba is a senior at Window Rock High School in Fort Defiance, Arizona. He represents Navajo Community Health Outreach as a youth ambassador. Ty loves to camp, hike, and travel, especially with Pollen Circles, Inc. He plays first viola in the Window Rock High School Orchestra. He lives in Deer Springs, Arizona, with his mom and

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Youth Writer Spotlight: Dariana Guerrero

Dariana Guerrero is a Lawrence High School graduate and now a sophomore at Smith College, majoring in English and Education.  She’s been an Andover Bread Loaf (ABL) Writing Leader for five consecutive years, and she has presented at the National Council of Teachers of English annual conference. Dariana was inspired to write “Inner City Dreamer” in response to

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BLTN International


Writing for a Better World: Bread Loaf Mumbai

Read travelogues and conference proceedings from the 2015 Bread Loaf India conference at Be sure to read Rich Gorham’s detailed daily posts. For a collection of articles featuring aspects of BLTN’s international projects, take this link.

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Karachi Connection: A Webinar on Teaching Writing

The School of Writing in Karachi, Pakistan, organized a webinar for school teachers from Karachi this past September. Andover Bread Loaf and Bread Loaf Teacher Network colleagues Mohsin Tejani in Karachi and Lorena German in Austin, Texas, collaboratively designed the two-hour virtual visit with Lorena. Topics Lorena covered with the teachers included “skills-based learning, accountability of students

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Reports from the Field: BLTN Fellows Report on Classroom Collaborations

Benton and Haughton Curate Student Literary Journal Laura Benton, English Teacher Third-Year Bread Loaf Student Woodford County High School Matthew Haughton, English Teacher Second-Year Bread Loaf Student West Jessamine High School BLTN Project website: What is the Story: Building a Bridge Through Literary Production In her poem, “Walnut Tree,” high school student

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Campus News


From the Director: Opening Remarks in Vermont

Editor’s note: The following excerpt is from Director Emily Bartels’ opening night talk at the Vermont Campus, June, 2015. But there is a side to Bread Loaf that happens long after our intensive summer of study together is done. I’ve seen it across the country. On the Navajo Nation, Navajo students are taking the lead,

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Rhetoric’s Power: Imagination and Engagement at Santa Fe

Editor’s note: Inspired by a quick drop-in to Professor Cheryl Glenn’s “Rhetoric’s Power” course in June 2015, this post has been collaboratively produced with Bread Loaf students Mary Sisson, Jessica Candlin, and Hayley Shapland, along with Professor Glenn. We welcome comments from other class participants who have generously shared work samples.  As an advocate for including teacher voice in

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The Right Place

by Alfredo Celedón Luján Director’s Assistant, Bread Loaf Santa Fe MA ’87 I began my career as a “DA” (Director’s Assistant) at St. John’s College in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Before that, I was a Bread Loaf student in Vermont. When I applied to Bread Loaf in 1981, Director Paul Cubeta had written to me

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Sites DOT MiddleburyThe Middlebury site network.