Be part of an innovative and exceptionally diverse teachers’ network with an expansive reach.
The Bread Loaf Teacher Network (BLTN) is a life-changing antidote to teacher isolation. You are invited, as a Bread Loaf student, to join BLTN, a collective of educators, youth, and community organizers committed to sharing practice, scholarship, community, and activism. You will never teach in isolation again.
The Benefits of Collaboration
Established in 1993, BLTN is a nationally visible network of teachers working together to support one another in the profession, to apply Bread Loaf scholarship to teaching, and to develop innovative, youth-informed, socially transformative pedagogies.
As a BLTN member, you will enter a supportive, generative, and inclusive community. Guided by BLTN founder Dixie Goswami’s reminder that “Young people are resources to be tapped, not problems to be solved,” you will join a network collaborating on meaningful classroom and community projects informed by your shared Bread Loaf studies. You will create opportunities for your own students to be valued as critical thinkers, co-inquirers, writers, creative artists, and advocates for educational and social equity and justice.
Central to Bread Loaf’s mission and open to all students, BLTN provides teachers the space and support to work with their peers on projects and multiyear partnerships that engage students from different schools, states, ages, cultures, and nations. Typically, BLTN teachers collaborate to plan for structures that employ creative reading and writing to promote youth empowerment and voice.
With BLTN, you’ll develop theories of learning and teaching that inform effective practices based on decades of sociolinguistic scholarship at Bread Loaf. BLTN teachers routinely and collaboratively refine teaching practices that begin with listening to students, and that inspire classrooms characteristically rich in discourse, informed by student experience, and by networked teaching and learning.
BLTN’s ethos and culture are deeply democratic. BLTN teachers collaborate with colleagues, administrators, families, and community organizations to create models for building and sustaining youth social action initiatives in urban and rural areas where social inequalities are particularly glaring. Theorized inquiry- and action-based projects offer students authentic invitations into leadership as critical thinkers, writers, creative artists, activists, and empathic citizens.
BLTN resources and support can help you and your teaching practice, students, and communities thrive. The network offers unique fellowships for study at the Bread Loaf School of English. Fellows become leaders, inspiring teachers in their schools and across the world to design classrooms and policy around solid learning theory, and to advocate for socially and culturally relevant education. World-renowned Bread Loaf faculty frequently advise and engage in BLTN initiatives, becoming long-term allies and thought partners for BLTN members.
As a Bread Loaf student interested in becoming an active member in the network, you may be eligible to apply for special fellowships that support Bread Loaf study and year-round work.
Outreach and Impact
On the Navajo Nation, Navajo students are working with BLTN teachers as part of a coalition to serve as advocates for healthy living and eating practices.
In Lawrence, Massachusetts, students of BLTN teachers are running after-school writing workshops and engaging the community in the power of the spoken and written word.
In Louisville, Kentucky, BLTN teachers are working with colleagues and students to build a food literacy curriculum that revolutionizes what it means to study English.
In Ohio, BLTN fellows created Erase the Space, a nonprofit that aims to improve public discourse and collaboration between Columbus-area students from different socioeconomic and academic backgrounds.
In Vermont and Louisville, BLTN teachers head credit-bearing What’s the Story? courses, engaging youth from different schools in community-based research, multimedia storytelling, and social advocacy.
The BLTN NextGen Youth Leadership Network brings together community educators and young people, digitally and in person, from Lawrence, Atlanta, Louisville, the Navajo Nation, and rural South Carolina and Vermont to organize youth-centered summits that advocate collectively and powerfully for social justice.
This network of teachers from rural, urban, and suburban schools began with funding from the Wallace Foundations (then the DeWitt Wallace-Reader’s Digest Fund) in 1993. We have since received additional funding from the Annenberg Rural Challenge, the Carnegie Corporation, the Arthur Vining Davis Foundations, the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, Write to Change, the Educational Foundation of American, the Humana Foundation, the C.E. and S. Foundation, the Braitmayer Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Educational Testing Service, the Leopold Schepp Foundation, the Gates Foundation, Partners in Health and the CDC, the Ford Foundation, and several state departments of education and school districts.
There are now hundreds of teachers actively engaged in networked projects involving tens of thousands of their students.
Bread Loaf has its own communications network, BreadNet, which is a course management tool, and also functions as an email server, an electronic bulletin board, a site for class folders and conferences, and a communications site for the Bread Loaf community throughout the year. All Bread Loaf students are provided with a BreadNet account (free of charge). Our technology staff will help students install and learn the system. At registration, all enrolled students receive a current BreadNet Account Information sheet that outlines the basics of setting up an account and using BreadNet. BreadNet is supported on FirstClass, which you can download here. To install BreadNet on your mobile device, go the the App store and download FirstClass Mobile.