Celebrating World Teachers' Day

By Kristin Hayes on October 5, 2020

World Teachers' Day, held annually on October 5th, is a global event launched by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in 1994. While Bay State College acknowledges and celebrates all of their faculty, we wanted to take a moment to highlight Pam Grill, Associate Professor of English, for her vital contributions to the College and continued effort helping students reach their highest potential.

Pam Grill graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy degree from the State University College of New Year at Oneonta and went on to earn her Master of arts in Teaching/English from Boston College. Grill has been an integral part of the Bay State College community and a staple for students and their education.

Bay State College: What do you love most about teaching at Bay State College?
Pam Grill: I love teaching at Bay State because of the faculty and the students. I have known some faculty members for many years. Always, the faculty are true mentors and professionals. They love what they do, and they are excited to support our students and contribute to their learning. And, of course, the students. Our students come from all over the world. I love learning from my students and connecting with my students. I especially love the "ah ha" moments when students gain insights into something that we are discussing in class.

Bay State College: How do you motivate your students to become active learners in the classroom?
Pam Grill: I make the material in class relatable to students. For example, when I am teaching Shakespeare's Othello, I ask students about times when they have felt jealousy and how that affected their judgement. In this way, I hope that students can relate the work to their own lives. I also encourage students to talk to each other in class. Rather than just answering my questions, I want them to discuss issues with each other. I encourage my students to recognize that we all have different learning styles and to appreciate each other's perspectives.

Bay State College: What accomplishments are you most proud of?
Pam Grill: Given to me by my class - a teacher's dream!

Bay State College: What is the one thing that you hope your students learn from you?
Pam Grill: I'll give you three things: to be curious, to step out of their comfort zone, and to learn how to use semicolons!

Bay State College: Can you recall your most memorable/fondest moment at the college?
Pam Grill: I was in The Spot (our entertainment venue) for a student event, and an employee told me that students wrote that I was "lit" on the Student Satisfaction Survey. Since I teach literature, I assumed that this had something to do with that class, but I found out it meant I was well-liked by my students! Another fond memory is when I was involved with helping DECA student members practice for competitions. The group of students I was working with presented me with a watercolor of the Public Gardens for helping them. Finally, a memorable time was when they Common Reading Committee invited Julie Otsuka, author of When the Emperor was Devine and The Buddha in the Attic, to speak to our freshman class at Orientation. I was on stage with Julie, asking her questions that students had written in advance, and I thought to myself that this is a genuine opportunity for not only the students, but also the staff and faculty to hear and ask questions of a well-known and prolific novelist.

"Bay State College students are wonderful, committed people from all different backgrounds. A good number of them have had to overcome obstacles to attend Bay State. Bay State's priority is our students - they are who we're here for," Pam Grill.