Bread Loaf is a part of who I am -- as a thinker, reader, writer, learner, teacher and community member. It's hard to separate these roles, as they intertwine so thoroughly. My work with WtS? is the same: all at once I'm doing my best do be all of these things. Like Bread Loaf, WtS? pushes me to engage in reading, writing, learning, teaching and engaging in my community in a way that I might not otherwise. With a full teaching schedule, it would be easy to say I'm doing enough of this stuff already. However, WtS? provides a different avenue, a different venue, a different view: I'm reading blogs and I-Search research papers (as opposed to lit analyses, literature itself or memos from administration). I'm writing my own blog (which I haven't done since my first Bread Loaf summer, when I was too inspired not to create a blog). I'm thinking about all kinds of things I don't normally think about (including, suddenly, a lack of emergency dispatch funding in VT -- who knew?!). I'm learning about I-search papers, about blogging, about digital media (and that's the tip of the iceberg). I'm teaching (I hope I'm teaching) in a way that is fairly new to me. This feels like teaching from behind as opposed to teaching from the front. And I'm not even a "teaching from the front" kind of gal, but this still feel different. I feel like more of a cheerleader and collaborator than a teacher. And that feels great.
I think that WtS? has the potential for fulfilling expectations of Act 77. In fact, I think that the requirements of Wts? exceed the expectations of Act 77 in some ways. At Middlebury Union Middle School, Personalized Learning Plans are set up digitally and are intentionally formatted in a way that gives students a great amount of ownership. Because this is our first year developing them here, there is still much room for these digital documents to grow and expand. That said, I could envision students' WtS? blogs and documentaries being literally inserted right into the PLPs they are required to maintain at school, as evidence of personal growth, learning and reflection.
In a nutshell: WtS? is a triangular vein through which Bread Loaf blood flows from teacher to student to teacher to student, etc.