Bread Loaf Teacher Network

Year started: 1993
Audience(s): Teachers pursuing one or more summers of continuing education or an MA in English at the Bread Loaf School of English, a graduate program of Middlebury College.
Who Started It: Dixie Goswami
# Members: N/A
Renowned for its world-class faculty and tradition of excellence, the
Bread Loaf School of English offers an intensive six-week summer program
in literature, pedagogy, creative writing, and theater arts at four
sites---Santa Fe, NM; Asheville, NC; Oxford, UK; and Ripton, VT. About 500
urban and rural ELA teachers from across the U.S. and other countries come
annually for one summer of continuing education, or for several summers to
work towards a Master's degree. Teachers leave Bread Loaf inspired and
enabled to bring new knowledge and skills to the service of their
classrooms, schools, and beyond.

All Bread Loaf students may join the Bread Loaf Teacher Network (BLTN), a
year-round community of practice founded in 1993, to participate in
state-of-the-art professional education that promotes academic success,
postive social change, and educational equity. BLTN uses social media and
digital tools to engage teachers, students, and communities in
content-rich collaborative projects that include face-to-face exchanges
augmented by online workshops, inquiries, and advocacy initiatives.
Members of BLTN are developing and implementing innovative approaches to
meeting student needs, sharing approaches, conducting shared inquiries,
building community partnerships, and designing widely accesible web-based

The Bread Loaf program connects BLTN members to content, tools, resources,
other networks, peers, experts, and, most importantly, to their students.
Teachers leave Bread Loaf as agents of change, inspired and enabled to
bring new knowledge and skills to the service of their classrooms,
schools, and communities.

For information about Bread Loaf and BLTN, visit:
To check out scholarship and narratives by and about BLTN, visit
To learn about BLTN and Andover Bread Loaf "Writing around the World,"
navigate to
To learn about BLTN from a teacher-activist in Lawrence MA, view
Added on Jul 29, 2012
Vote Up!   6 votes

10 Responses to Bread Loaf Teacher Network

  1. Lou Bernieri says:

    As one of BLTN partners for 25 years, this network has been critical to Andover Bread Loaf’s work in the U.S. and the world. Our teachers and students have employed the network for local, national, and international projects, collaborating with colleagues and peers across the street and across the world. BLTN is a global community, one that cuts across barriers of country, race, class, religion, ethnicity, and age.

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  2. Maria Roberts says:

    As the sole 9-12 English teacher in our rural K-12 district, I would be lost without the collaboration opportunities that BLTN and especially our Colorado network have provided for me and my students. BLTN teachers are sensitive and articulate about sharing their knowledge and experience, innovative, creative, and forward-thinking, supportive and generous in helping each other provide the best in literature and writing education for our students.

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  3. Tish McGonegal says:

    The BLTN community offers a professional home and inspiration to countless teachers who draw on the network and its resources for support of their research and classroom practice. The network brings us together, challenges and sustains us as we face the challenges of standardization, test mania and a trend toward the desperate quick-fix mentality.

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  4. Ceci Lewis says:

    The BLTN community is my professional life-saver. It has not only facilitated my personal growth as a professional instructor, but it has also assisted in linking my students to others around the world. I have been a member since 1996 and I cannot even begin to imagine a teaching life without BLTN! My students and I truly reap the benefits of being connected to such a powerful network.

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  5. Holly Spinelli says:

    The Bread Loaf Teacher Network has been the greatest part of my teaching experience! I am constantly in touch with educators around the country and the world! We share ideas, discuss policy issues, and truly stand by one another to support and guide each other through all of the celebrations and the difficult times that are very much part of teaching. I love the network because my students are able to connect with other students around the world and share in the thinking, writing, and learning process with people across miles and cultures! My students LOVE the learning exchanges, because they have a genuine audience with which to share their work and ideas! I love the Bread Loaf Teacher Network, because it is an innovative, supportive, collaborative, and exciting group of educators and the possibilities for positive learning exchanges are endless!

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  6. Richard Gorham says:

    The Bread Loaf Teacher Network is the reason why i have remained a teacher in an urban public school in a high poverty district for 18 years. It sustains me professionally and personally. It is my primary resource for content, pedagogy, and inspiration. The network has connected me with teachers in 8 US states and 4 other countries. It is my path to truly global education.

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  7. I can thank Dixie Goswami and BLTN for launching a second phase of my teaching career. Before Bread Loaf, I thought I was a fairly innovative teacher, but engaging in inspiring coursework, coupled with meeting and interacting with a dynamic group of educators, provided the impetus for me to explore the possibilities of implementing new literacies in the classroom. I am almost done with my Bread Loaf degree and, after taking a summer off, and ready to jump back in next summer to complete it. I missed the dynamic face-to-face teaching and learning over the summer that provides the groundwork for all of our digitally connected projects.

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  8. MaryBeth Britton says:

    I teach in a small rural school in northern New Mexico. My years at Bread Loaf and my collaboration with other Bread Loaf teachers have been very important in my becoming a Master teacher. The stimulation and motivation I receive from my colleagues keep me on my toes and focused on maintaining rigorous instruction for my students. Because of Bread Loaf I was motivated to become nationally certified, add challenging readings to my class syllabi, and challenge my students through exchanges with students in classrooms in other states and countries. My fondest learning experiences are from Bread Loaf classes.

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  9. Renee Moore says:

    I’ve been a member of the BLTN since 1994. It was in this network that I first learned the power of online collaboration among students and teachers. As a fairly new teacher, with only one computer in my classroom and no Internet access at school, I was able, through BLTN, to connect my rural Mississippi students in literature/writing based exchanges with students in Soweto, South Africa and all over the United States. The experience changed my students, my school, and my teaching forever. The logistics have come a long way, but the bottom line is still that learning happens exponentially in connected settings. BLTN’s success as a vital, virtual network, however, is grounded in the theoretical and practical teaching that occurs as part of the Bread Loaf writing program, under the direction of Dixie Goswami and the BLSE faculty.

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  10. Tom McKenna says:

    My association with the Bread Loaf Teacher Network began in 1990 with courses (on narrative and the imagination) in Bread Loaf’s Program in Writing taught by Nancy Martin and Michael Armstrong. These courses impelled me to deepen my teaching stance in response to the theory I was beginning to cobble together from people like Vygotsky and James Britton. Later, courses I took from Ken Macrorie, Andrea Lunsford, Victor Luftig, and John Elder helped me to enliven and tighten my own writing while reflecting on classroom implications of that work. In these early years of my career, I went back to my classroom on fire each August , ready to try new forms of assessment, new ways for students to write to one another and to write for publication. During these years, I was constantly involved in classroom collaborations with Bread Loaf Teacher Network colleagues. In one collaboration, my students in the Aleutian Islands of Alaska studied Leslie Marmon Silko’s novel, _Ceremony_. Bread Loaf faculty member Lucy Maddox, and several of her graduate students from Georgetown University helped my students to understand and shape their own reactions to the complex novel. I recall students beaming with confidence when their interpretations were affirmed and stretched by interested, distant scholars. Over the past two decades with BLTN, I have worked with hundreds of teachers who have built and shared knowledge of effective practices for structuring the kinds of student to student (and student to teacher or faculty) collaborations that allow students to use written conversation to drive their learning.

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