Sarah Bland

Sarah Bland


Educational Philosophy

Sarah Bland became a teacher after doing nearly everything she could to avoid it. The daughter of two educators, Sarah spent her childhood in and around the classroom — be it her own, as a pupil, her mother’s, as a teaching “assistant,” or the imaginary one she created in the basement of her family home (complete with boys’ and girls’ bathroom passes, a prerecorded “Pledge of Allegiance,” and seasonally inspired bulletin boards). Despite the intrinsic role that education played in her childhood (and, perhaps, because of the expectations placed upon her by her teachers and family members, many of whom noticed her natural proclivities), Sarah spent her young adult years outside of the classroom’s walls, learning much about the world through firsthand, adventure-based experience. Not surprisingly, this led her to New York City and — logically, if ironically — right back to the world and the adventure of education.

Sarah believes in an expansive definition of the “classroom,” and thinks that education is, itself, a lifelong process. She believes in books; in the reading of them. She likes to consider the ways in which theatre and the arts can inform and enrich the creation of a community, as well as the self. She cultivates a holistic approach to education, a world in which self-care and healing — in addition to academics — is paramount. Sarah is inspired by the idea that one’s brain is constantly evolving, physically altering its structure in direct relation to the input of information through learning. Wow! And she believes that listening to others can be a radical act.

Courses/Internships

Sarah is a Special Education teacher with an Extension in English. At City-As, Sarah teaches the Portfolio Readiness class, serves as an Advisor, and provides extra support, here and there, across various other classes and disciplines. She also teaches ELA and Literacy Foundations courses.

 

Biography

Sarah is from Middletown, Maryland, a small town that lives up (or down) to its name. Similar to the way that leaving the classroom provided the surest route back, the Main-Street-America core of Middletown encouraged Sarah to develop a deep curiosity about the world beyond, setting her on a path of service. One of her proudest moments was receiving a “Character Counts” scholarship because of her role in mentoring a younger, struggling student.

In 2003, Sarah graduated Summa Cum Laude from the Honors Program at West Virginia University. There, she completed her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theatre, and co-founded a branch of Outreach Kenya Development Volunteers. She traveled to Kenya and Uganda with this organization, working with a local NGO that advocates for HIV/AIDS education and awareness.

Sarah went on to California Institute of the Arts (CalArts), becoming the first student to complete a dual Masters Degree of Fine Arts (in Writing and Acting). At CalArts, Sarah was a preceptor for the undergraduate course, Contemporary American Theatre. As a performer, Sarah was featured in the world premiere of Richard Foreman’s opera, “What to Wear,” at the Walt Disney Concert Hall in downtown Los Angeles. In 2007, she relocated to New York City to perform with Foreman again, both at his Ontological-Hysteric Theater and, later, at the Baryshnikov Performing Arts Center. As a writer, her fiction was a national finalist for the 2007 Dana Award.

Sarah currently studies Students with Disabilities at City College.

Fun Facts!

Sarah lives in Washington Heights with her husband, Eric, and her dog, Frog. She adds salt to everything, even pizza.