UVM Tarrant Institute for Innovative Education -- Storytelling

Our Storytelling

Since 2013, we've maintained an active blog, showcasing innovative education in action, around Vermont and across the nation. Our professional development coordinators write and produce articles, videos and new podcast episodes three times per week, ranging on topics from equity to action research, blended learning to negotiated curriculum. Additionally, we actively encourage educators, administrators and thought-leaders to contribute their thoughts, with more than 50 respected guest authors.

If it helps you move towards truly student-centered middle school learning, we want to talk about it.


How A Classroom Newsletter Gave My Students Voice

"Mornings at Mount Holly used to buzz with parents and kids in the cafeteria, in the hallways and in our classrooms. There were so many opportunities for parents to get to know this place where their children spent so much of their day. I knew that was not going to be the case this year: because of COVID times, there are actually stickers on our doors that say, “School Employees and Students Only.” This is a big change for our school community, so as the school year began, I made a commitment to use a classroom newsletter to connect with parents.

Little did I realize back in September how transformative this one small practice could be."


How To Do Service Learning During A Pandemic

"This year, I am hearing that many teachers feel they aren’t practicing the kind of teaching they believe in as much as they are used to and want to. They are stretched thin with all of the protocols and decisions and shifting situations the pandemic brings. That personalized learning, and service learning, feel further away than ever. And believe me, I get it. I feel that too on a daily basis.

But like most things, small, doable, meaningful changes and steps can bring more purpose and connection to students at a time when they really need it."


Culturally Responsive Practices for Equity in the Classroom

"Equity. In Vermont and beyond, educators and administrators are talking about equity. But what does equity look like in practice? Most importantly, how do we stop talking about it and start doing it? Culturally responsive practices are a concrete way to do equity work in the classroom.

So what are they and what do they look like?"


Digital Peer Mentoring: A Silver Lining of the Pandemic

"As the coordinator for my school district’s full-time virtual option this school year, I knew that I’d be spending much of the year in problem-solving mode, likely for problems I couldn’t even imagine yet. While not every problem has an immediate solution, we have found one simple yet powerful way to move steadily toward solutions: student-to-student mentoring."


How To Have Difficult Conversations About the Election

"It’s not you; difficult conversations are a lot right now. While it’s fair to say that the history of the world consists of “being a lot” at regular intervals, right now is a moment where multiple unlikely catastrophes have collided, exposing deep rifts in conventional society. A lot of people we know and love hold diametrically opposed viewpoints, and they aren’t afraid to defend them.

And that’s where you come in, dear educators. Because a lot of those people with those viewpoints are the students in your classes."