Plog Returns to BFA as Alternative Program Teacher

Tom Plog

Tom Plog

Rebekah Dalmer, Writer

What does Tom Plog want you to know about the new alternative program at Bellows Free Academy? “We’re here,” he said. 

Accord to Plog, he is one of many new hires at BFA, but you haven’t seen him in the hallways because he and his colleagues, Erin Cusson and Matt Bloom, are working in a separate building across the street from BFA in the alternative program. 

Plog said he got a degree in journalism at New Mexico State University  and a Doctorate in Law at Quinnipiac University‘s school of law. He spent the last four years at Enosburg Falls High School teaching social studies and AP Psychology. 

According to Plog, he decided to apply to BFA’s alternative program because he was a long-term substitute for BFA in 2015-2016, teaching AP Psychology and Global Studies.

Plog said it’s going “really well” in the alternative program; he said the first few days were about relationship-building with students. 

Plog said he teaches English and social studies to students in grades nine through twelve. He said his job is to make sure students are “making progress towards proficiency” and are “emotionally supported” in their education. 

According to Plog, students in the alternative program spend the day there, placed in the building and switching between classes just like students on the main campus of BFA. Plog said that he thinks the separation takes away all the commotion of being across the street and creates a relaxed setting.

“It’s such a comfortable and safe space,” he said. Plog discussed how minimizing distractions and being separated breaks down barriers and “fronts” that students put up in the traditional classroom setting. Breaking those barriers, he said, allows students to “take ownership of their learning.” 

Plog said they are building, “a very strong community.”