The transition to remote learning brought the crucial role of educators to the foreground. We wanted to take this time to reach out to some Middlebury alumni educators teaching in Vermont and recognize them for all the work they do, including their efforts to stay connected with students during this isolation period.
Ben Weir majored in History and graduated from Middlebury in 2011. As a student, Ben was involved in migrant rights through the CCE (then called ACE, the Alliance for Community Engagement). He helped found Juntos, a student service organization that supports local farmworkers in gaining English skills and other tools that promote their wellbeing and independence.
Born and raised in Vermont, Ben always knew he wanted to stay in his home state. He taught Social Studies and English at Randolph Union High School in Orange County, Vermont for 7 years before taking a job this year as a Special Education Case Manager at Middlebury Union High School. Addison County drew Ben & his wife because of the network of friends they developed quickly after graduating.
“We are very lucky to live in a strong and vibrant community with significant diversity in perspective and life experience,” he states. “When I graduated from Middlebury, I became friends with lots of other Middlebury graduates who had chosen to stick around and start their own enterprises to help grow this community. These people have become my core group of friends and have made my life richer in many ways. I chose to teach because I identify strongly as a Vermonter and I feel a duty to help provide the sorts of opportunities that I had for the next generation of Vermonters.”
The transition to remote teaching has been, as Ben describes, “hectic!” He explains: “Everyone is trying to figure out how to do this all at once (from Governor down to the students,) so it’s a bit crazy. The experience has solidified my belief that education is all about personal connection. When teachers and students connect personally, everyone is more likely to grow. That connection is necessarily more difficult in a remote setting, so I look forward to being back in the classroom when it is safe!”
Thank you, Ben!
Stay tuned for more stories from Middlebury Alumni Educators!