Three students walking through arch

Sharing Our Stories

Sal Breiter in the classroomSal Breiter’s enthusiasm for teaching is readily apparent in his Creative Minds class. He engages his students with jokes and anecdotes before launching a thoughtful discussion on the nature of intelligence and inspiration. He constantly moves around the room, so fired up about his subject that he can hardly stand still.

This is Breiter’s passion. He encourages students to embrace their humanity, find their own purpose and develop innovative ways to improve themselves and the world around them. He wants his students to keep moving and growing – to never stand still.

“It is my task to encourage students to identify the issues and problems that impact and matter to them the most, and to help them develop the skills to critically address them,” said Breiter. “This experiential process works best in an environment of warmth, love and support balanced with high expectations for scholarship and authenticity.”

Breiter has worked at De Anza for 13 years. He has a bachelor’s degree from Fairhaven College and a master’s degree from Western Washington University, both in anthropology with a focus on social justice and environmental sustainability. Breiter currently serves as chair of the Humanities Department, teaches in the First Year Experience program and regularly participates in the Equity Action Council. This winter, he is developing student civic engagement projects and collaborating with the Euphrat Museum on a public art project.

“I believe that human happiness and cultural innovation are rooted in the relationship between an individual seeking purpose and meaningfulness, and a community aspiring for social justice and ecological sustainability,” Breiter added.

When he is not teaching, Breiter is an avid surfer, artist, reader, walker and explorer of both the intellectual and physical worlds. He also strives to be a “fantastic father and husband.”

“Students are more likely to trust the learning environment, and their ability to succeed in it, if I model the attitude and spirit of genuine engagement in the discipline, and demonstrate sincere interest in and belief in their success,” said Breiter. “Part of this classroom spirit requires me to be myself always…so that I can unapologetically ask students to bring themselves fully into the classroom.”

Contact: Vanessa Smith
Phone: 408.864.8948

Last Updated: 12/16/14