Teaching with Tenderness with Becky Thompson launched this winter’s pedagogy series on Tuesday, Jan. 11. Additional presenters include, Alex Shevrin Venet speaking about Four Priorities of a Trauma-Informed Classroom.

Other sessions will include insights from the Engaged Listening Project, student reflections on effective teaching in a time of crisis, student perspectives on meaningful writing assignments, trauma-informed teaching in digital spaces, and project-based learning.

Participant Funding for 2022

This year there is a special incentive for any faculty and staff who teach Middlebury students to participate in this series. If you attend any four individual sessions, you will receive $250 in professional development funding in order to help advance your own teaching. These funds can support attendance at workshops and conferences, the purchase of books, materials to enhance classroom activities, and similar expenses.

2022 Contemporary Teaching Series - Holistic, Embodied Approaches to Teaching and Learning

Online via Zoom

Becky Thompson smiling

Teaching with Tenderness with Becky Thompson

Becky Thompson, sociology professor at Simmons University and author of Teaching with Tenderness, will open the 2022 Contemporary Teaching Series by addressing the unprecedented stresses in higher education of working amidst two crises—the pandemic and the continued intransigence of systemic racism. Making room for emotion, this pedagogy allows us to rethink our relationship to grading, office hours, desks, and faculty meetings. Thompson will share lessons learned while teaching (in the United States, China, Greece, and Thailand) and offer rituals of inclusion that treat the classroom as a sacred space.

A recording of the presentation part of this session is available to the Middlebury community to watch for 30 days.

Online via Zoom

Book cover with two figures facing each other

Teaching with Tenderness: A Community Conversation

Becky Thompson will continue the discussion of Teaching with Tenderness in a limited registration workshop. This session makes space to talk together about stresses that students and faculty currently bring to the classroom and ways of teaching that remind us that we belong to each other. Building off of the poet/professor June Jordan’s insight, “We are not all that is possible. None of us has ever really experienced justice. None of us has known enough tenderness,” participants will explore what it will take to stay energized and hopeful during this time.

Wilson Media Lab (DFL 220) and Online via Zoom

A Student-Faculty Dialogue on Pandemic Teaching

How has your teaching experience been shifting modalities? What helped? What feedback did you receive from students? What would you need to know from students? These questions will animate this collaborative student-faculty conversation to help us better understand the connections between our pedagogies and our students’ reception of our courses. This interactive discussion will enable deep reflection of where we’ve been, but more importantly, offer creative ideas about working with each other in the Spring 2022 semester, and beyond. This session will be moderated by Joe Antonioli, Jim Ralph, and other members of DLINQ and CTLR.

Online via Zoom

Alex Shevrin Venet smiling in red glasses

Four Priorities of a Trauma-Informed Classroom with Alex Shevrin Venet

Alex Shevrin Venet, author of Equity-Centered Trauma-Informed Education will discuss, in the midst of the collective and global trauma of the pandemic, how should educators be responsive to the suffering of their students? Moving beyond checklists, learn an approach that identifies four key priorities for trauma-informed educators: predictability, flexibility, connection, and empowerment. Each of these priorities responds to a deep need for trauma-affected students and also helps to build a proactive resilience-building environment. Participants will engage in reflection and sharing of practices throughout this interactive talk.

A recording of the presentation part of this session is available to the Middlebury community to watch for 30 days.

Online via Zoom

Book cover with intersecting orange and purple squares

Trauma-Informed Practices Workshop with Alex Shevrin Venet

Alex Shevrin Venet will continue discussion of Equity-Centered Trauma-Informed Education in this limited registration workshop. Now understanding the need for trauma-informed practice, this workshop moves on to the necessary, and messy, implementation stage. Participants will dig into the Four Priorities framework, identify opportunities for strengthening their classroom practice, and realize predictability, flexibility, connection, and empowerment in their pedagogy, policies, and practices. Come to this workshop ready to reflect and plan for the upcoming semester.

Online via Zoom

Trauma-Informed Teaching in Digital Spaces

Trauma-informed teaching practices help students to navigate personal trauma, and also help to ensure that learning environments do not become spaces where students experience trauma. This session will identify challenges for trauma-informed practices that exist in hybrid and online classes, and provide concrete strategies for addressing these challenges. DLINQ members Amy Collier and Sarah Lohnes Watulak will lead this session.

Online via Zoom

Why We Write: A Workshop on Meaningful Writing at Middlebury

Meaningful writing is a pedagogical concept related to college students’ writing experiences and the factors that make them meaningful. In this workshop, Peer Writing Tutor Jack Torpey ‘24 and Director of the Writing Center Genie Giaimo will share an introduction to this writing pedagogy and research on the state of meaningful writing at Middlebury College. Participants will then  workshop meaningful student writing activities and assignments for their courses.

Presentation PowerPoint

Student writing examples from various disciplines are available in the Ward Writing Prize digital book.


CTLR Suite (DFL 225) and Online via Zoom

Engaging the Whole Student: Project-Based Learning as Embodied and Inclusive Pedagogy

When faculty teach according to the Seven Essential Elements of Project-Based Learning (PBL), they bring high-impact practices into their courses. These practices foster deeper, embodied learning by engaging the whole student—heart, mind, and spirit—and tapping into different parts of their brain, identity, and being. Come hear how faculty colleagues employed PBL this fall with unscripted, “real-world” and hands-on project work. Faculty speakers will be Kristy Bright (ANTH) speaking about ANTH 0302 Ethnographic Research, and Miguel Fernandez (SPAN) speaking about SPAN 311 Hispanic Theatre. The session will be moderated by Amy McGlashan and Amy Morsman.

Online via Zoom

Dialogue in the Classroom: Reflections on Teaching with Engaged Listening

This session, co-sponsored with the Engaged Listening Project (ELP), brings together former ELP faculty fellows and faculty and staff participants in the summer 2021 dialogic workshop. Three ELP fellows – Ata Anzali (Religion), Amy Briggs (Computer Science), and Will Nash (American Studies) – will offer reflections on employing dialogic principles and practices in the classroom. Participants are then invited to discuss the lessons learned and future questions for teaching that focuses on both listening and speaking. Moderated by former ELP director Sarah Stroup (PSCI and IGST).

Note this event has transitioned to an all Zoom event.

2022 Organizing Committee

JoAnn Brewer, CTLR Administrative Coordinator
Amy Gibans McGlashan, CCI Director of Academic Outreach and Special Projects
Karin Gottshall, Associate Professor of English & American Literatures
Michaela Kubacki, Assistant Professor of Mathematics
Sarah Lohnes-Watulak, DLINQ Director of Digital Pedagogy and Media
Jim Ralph, CTLR Director, Dean of Faculty Development and Research, Professor of History

Center for Teaching, Learning, and Research
Davis Family Library, Suite 225
Middlebury, VT 05753