"I love it at Berklee. It's a special place to teach. The students come from vastly different kinds of backgrounds and cultures, and all of them are so talented, many with other passionate interests in addition to music. The energy's great because the students are very excited to be at Berklee, doing what they've wanted to do. The excitement carries over into the non-music classes, which I teach, and makes for wonderful classes."
"Especially with first-year students, a lot of what I'm doing in addition to teaching English is introducing them to college, to a different way of thinking and interacting with others. I have a background in ESL, as well as literature. This background has led me to approach language—in academic essays, in literature, in speaking—as a means of communicating."
"What's most important to me in the classroom is creating a community where everyone feels safe to talk about their opinions, to explore questions, and to have answers that might be wrong. The feelings of embarrassment and shame are so powerful in the classroom and in our culture. Nobody, teachers included, wants to look stupid."
"The Identity course is my newest course. (Roger Brown, Berklee's president, co-taught it in the spring 2007 semester and wrote an online journal about his experiences.) In it, we're directly investigating questions that are fundamental to the approach I take in all my classes: What are the personal and social aspects of our identities? What makes us human? In what ways are we similar/different? What influences people to view these differences in a negative way/in a positive way? How do we and how can we communicate with each other across differences? How can thinking about these questions lead us to make more effective choices for creating a less violent society?"
"The Liberal Arts Department is a special place to be, also. In most schools, there are separate departments for each discipline: an English Department, a History Department, a Psychology Department. . . . It's wonderful to be with colleagues from different disciplines and to share what we're doing. I've learned a lot from them."
Hear more from Sally Blazar in the video below:
- B.A., French, Tufts University
- M.Ed., English as a Second Language, Boston University
- M.A., English and American Literature, Boston University
- Ph.D., English Literature, Boston University
- Former instructor at Suffolk University and Boston University