Photo of Bread Loaf Inn
The Bread Loaf Inn.

Every August, Middlebury faculty and staff gather to discuss effective teaching strategies. In this congenial forum, they learn new pedagogical approaches and strengthen skills for teaching in general as well as for the teaching of writing.

Retreat Announcements

Registration is now open! Please register by Friday, August 9th

See the full schedule below. Send your questions to

2024 Teaching and Writing Retreat

I Wasn’t Trained for This: How to Build and Benefit from an Inclusive Classroom

Monday, August 26 (Bread Loaf Campus) - Tuesday, August 27 (Middlebury Campus)

As a member of the Middlebury community, you are deeply committed to reaching every student you encounter, but it’s not so easy to accomplish that goal. This year’s retreat aims to build on recent faculty and staff interest in re-evaluating the College curriculum and sharpening our instructional skills to more effectively meet our talented students where they are and support them in a challenging learning environment. Sponsored by the Writing and Rhetoric Program and the Center for Teaching, Learning, and Research.

At the retreat, we will: 

  • Hear from top academic administrators about the place and potential power of inclusivity in a Middlebury education.
  • Share honest truths about where we, as individual instructors and as an institution, might struggle to reach every student.
  • Explore valuable nuts-and-bolts approaches to finding the learning foundation for each student and supporting growth well beyond it.  
  • Realize how inclusive teaching can benefit us as educators as much as it benefits students.
  • Apply our learning about inclusive pedagogy to fall course planning.

Note: There will be no overnight accommodations at Bread Loaf this year. We will all go home after dinner on Monday night. The retreat continues on campus on Tuesday morning.

Register by Friday, August 9th.

I Wasn’t Trained for This: How to Build and Benefit from an Inclusive Classroom

Retreat Day 1—Monday, August 26

Bread Loaf

Welcome and Morning Sessions

Opening Plenary Presentation by the Provost and Dean of Faculty

Making Sense of Inclusivity: What are our concerns, questions, and curiosities? How can inclusivity work for us and our students? Where do we need deeper exploration today and tomorrow? 

Bread Loaf

Lunch with Colleagues

The So-Full Sisters food truck will provide lunch.

Bread Loaf

Reflection and Retreat Time

Take a walk, meditate, or gather your thoughts from the morning.

Bread Loaf

Afternoon Session 1 (Choice)

Choose between the following two sessions:

1. Navigating Challenging Classroom Circumstances 

2. Cultivating Academic Identity in Our Students

Bread Loaf

Afternoon Session 2 (Choice)

Choose between the following two sessions:

1. Using Writing in the Classroom to Create Community and Confidence

2. The Classroom Today: Pressures on Faculty

Town of Middlebury

Dinner at the Crooked Ladle

We will depart from Bread Loaf at 4:30 pm and reconvene at 5 pm at 51 Main in downtown Middlebury for a dinner by the Crooked Ladle.

Retreat Day 2—Tuesday, August 27

Middlebury Campus

Breakfast Discussion with Syllabus Groups

Syllabus groups will discuss what is top of their mind from Day 1.

Middlebury Campus

Inclusivity Priorities

We will share as a large group what inclusive priorities we have and how inclusivity might be applied to your syllabus.

Middlebury Campus

Inclusivity in Your Syllabus and Assignments

Small-group discussions of syllabi and one assignment with inclusivity in mind. We will take a short break mid-session at 11 am.

Middlebury Campus

Lunch and Closing Conversation

We will discuss what lessons came out of the retreat including what one small step we can try, and what support we would need to achieve that step.

Register by August 9th

2024 Organizing Committee

The retreat has been planned with care by members of the Center for Teaching, Learning, and Research and the Writing and Rhetoric Program.

Sarah Lohnes-Watulak, DLINQ Director of Digital Pedagogy and Media
Emily Malcolm-White, Lecturer in Mathematics and Statistics
Amy McGlashan, CCI Director of Academic Outreach and Special Projects
Amy Morsman, Director of the CTLR and First Year Seminar Program
Jill Strube, CTLR Center Coordinator
Hector Vila, Associate Professor of Writing and Rhetoric

Past Retreats

For 2023, Students Expectations - Faculty Expectations: How Prepared Are We for Fall ‘23? was held at Middlebury’s Bread Loaf campus.

The 2022 retreat Recovering Ourselves: Relationships and Sustainable Strategies was held at the Mountain Top Inn.

In 2021, Making Connections to people, places, programs and resources was important after a year disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The retreat was held on campus and included presentations by and visits to campus resources.

The 2020 retreat was canceled due to the pandemic.

In 2019, the focus was From Scholarship to Pedagogy: Our Students, Our Culture, and Our Goals. During the retreat, we considered how knowing what students bring into our classrooms—their educational experiences, their backgrounds, their world views, their challenges—can affect our teaching and how we plan our courses.