Middlebury Alumni Educator Spotlight: Claire Groby ’08

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.  

Claire Groby graduated from Middlebury in 2008 with a double major in Theatre and International Studies. Claire married a local Middlebury native, so after completing her graduate degree at NYU, they returned to the area to be closer to family. After teaching in Hanover for a few years, Claire got a job teaching 10th Grade World History at Rutland High School, and is currently in her fourth year there.

For the past few years, Claire has been bringing her students on field trips to the college to meet with International, study abroad, and upper-level language students through the Language in Motion (LiM) program. 

Claire loves Vermont and feels especially fortunate to have found a job in a community she really enjoys given how strained schools and education budgets are in Vermont at this moment.

Comparing teaching in Vermont to teaching in New York City public schools, where she completed her student teaching internships, Claire states: “I feel a pretty large contrast in my experiences teaching here in Vermont for the most part. However, teaching in Rutland is certainly more similar to Brooklyn than Hanover was. I think that education is truly valued in Vermont, but something which stands out to me is the challenges of shrinking enrollments. I’ve been observing this locally in Middlebury as well as in Rutland at very different levels.”

Remote teaching has been an interesting challenge for Claire, balancing her teaching with caring for her children both at home.

She has been doing mostly asynchronous assignments and email feedback but will soon be navigating class presentation remotely. “Some days,” she says, “I feel like I have lost the good parts of teaching (connecting with students, seeing colleagues, sharing my passion for history and bad jokes) and am left only with the tedious parts (emails, paperwork, grading).”

Although she feels that this all happened very fast–being given only a week or less to prepare for remote learning–she has learned a huge amount about technology in a short amount of time. 

Thank you, Claire! 

Stay tuned for more stories from Middlebury Alumni Educators!

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