BLTN at 20: Encouraging and Celebrating Learning

Sep 7th, 2013 | By | Category: BLTN Teachers, Fall 2013, Fall 2013 Feature, Issue

Professor and Bread Loaf Teacher Network Director, Dixie Goswami describes the fundamentals of the network:

Celebrating 20 Years of Inside and Outside Support

—by Dixie Goswami, Professor and Bread Loaf Teacher Network Director, Bread Loaf School of English
Editor’s note: Learn more from Ms. Goswami about the intellectual history of the network in a longer excerpt from this interview here.

The contributions of BLTN teachers and their students have built and sustained the network since it was founded in 1993, and their gifts range widely: the time they spend working with each other online and in person; the money they spend to travel to each other’s schools and communities; their work as community organizers, advocates, writers and publishers; the conference fees, airfares, and other expenses that come from their own pockets; and the summers that they spend in Vermont, Oxford, Santa Fe, and Asheville—summers they spent in Juneau and in Mexico—and the months and years between. Increasingly, students in BLTN classrooms are members of and contributors to BLTN.  BLSE faculty contributions to BLTN range from the intellectual and pedagogical richness of their Bread Loaf courses to their engagement with Bread Loaf teachers and their students as they read literary texts, among other activities.

Many partnerships, private and public funders, and generous individuals support BLTN teachers at Bread Loaf, in their communities and classrooms, and in countless ways, including Middlebury College, the Wallace Foundation, Rockefeller, Carnegie, National Endowment for the Humanities, C.E.& S. Foundation, Write to Change Foundation, Arthur Vining Davis Foundations, Ohio Department of Education, School District of Greenville County, SC; Kentucky State Department of Education, Phillips Academy/Andover Bread Loaf Writing Workshop, the Navajo Nation, Fidelity Foundation, Promise of Learnings, Inc., and The Bingham Trust.

Since 1993, hundreds of outstanding public school teachers have received support for graduate study at BLSE and to participate year-round in BLTN. Thousands of their students have participated and continue to participate in BLTN activities.

  • mckennat

    Agreed, Lou. I think she captures something that’s fed me my whole career (so far)– those seamless connection between connecting our students to have “long written conversations with one another,” to explore differences across geographies and cultures, and, in the process, allowing vital collegial support to ourselves as teachers. Everyone: the longer interview is well worth another 15 minutes as it looks back at the founding ideas of the network, and looks optimistically forward: http://sites.middlebury.edu/bltnmag/2013/08/22/a-historical-perspective-on-bltn/
    Tom

  • Lou Bernieri

    Dixie nails it in this short video. I love her explanation of the “blended”nature of the network , of the network being grounded in the study of literature and writing, and of the network being based on theory as well as action.

Sites DOT Middlebury: the Middlebury site network.