Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Dianne Baroz's Opening Volley!

My name is Dianne Baroz, and I’m an Administrative Associate at Middlebury
Bread Loaf School of English. I assist Dixie Goswami and the Bread Loaf
Teacher Network, and I am also the Oxford campus coordinator. I’ve just
completed my first anniversary returning to work at Bread Loaf
(woohoo!)....where did this year go? I’ve worked at BL previously from
1996-2002; BL has been like family ever since my husband Robert studied at
BL (MA 1995; MLitt 2004). He was part of the early VT BLTN group, and I’m
so happy to see the re-emergence of this group in such a dynamic way!

It’s been a wonderful experience to get to know the VT teachers at
Frothingham this summer. My role is administrative support for the group,
which means that I do a lot of the behind the scenes logistical work to
make days like the kick-off go off without a hitch….more or less :).  Even
though the group this year was much larger, this kick-off had a much more
fun, relaxed atmosphere.

I think my first aha moment is seeing how adaptable this group is. I love
that the teachers made videos to show that they too are learners alongside
their students. I heard Dixie echoing in the back of my head…."We’re all
in this together.” I also loved that the students, while not exactly sure
what they got themselves into, were upbeat and willing participants. My
final aha moment was seeing the enthusiastic response from our guests at
the end of the day. They were so pumped up and supportive because they
realize that amazing things are happening. Will groups like this really
change the face of college education?

I wonder how ‘this’ can be replicated or if it will need a BL teacher
connection to have a common thread. Not being a teacher, I wonder if I’ll
be an effective blog responder. I hope that I can give the support and
guidance that the students are looking for. I wonder how the upcoming
overnight will go and if they will look back and see that as one of the
highlights of their educational careers.

Thanks for including me as part of this project; it allows me to stay
connected to the everyday lives of BL teachers. It keeps the big picture
of what BLTN means at the forefront of my work and what we heard all
summer—BL is a place where teachers (and students) change the world. I’m
glad that I’m along for this ride!

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