Spotlight on Alice Hall
Associate Professor, Child and Family Development, Georgia Southern University
Why did you become a GAYC member?
I have been a member of NAEYC since 1988 and became a member of GAYC when I moved to Georgia in 1999. I believe it is important to be a member of a professional organization and enjoy networking and interacting with other early childhood professionals. I always benefit and learn from the journals and email newsletters associated with NAEYC, SECA, and GAYC.
Tell us about your work with young children.
I have been on the faculty at Georgia Southern University in Child and Family Development since 1999 and have taught a “lab” class every semester to teach students about DAP, child development, and Birth to 5 teaching methods. When I was university job hunting the quality of the laboratory school was an important variable in my decision to accept the job. Our GSU Child Development Center is a vital part of our mission and training for our undergraduate students. For 14 years, I have taught a class called Teaching Preschool and have taught hundreds of undergrads to be the lead teacher in a preschool classroom.
What is your favorite part of your ECE job and why?
I went into higher education to work to improve the quality of early childhood experiences for young children. While we have made great strides as professional organization and country, we have a long way to go for children of all SES levels to attend high quality programs. The most rewarding part of my job is the number of GSU CHFD undergraduates who work for Bright From the Start and CCR&R. These graduates are the change agents for improving the quality of early childhood education in the state of Georgia and for each child enrolled in the program.
Share one way a child has inspired you.
While I have not worked in a ECE classroom in many years, my office is in the child development center and it brings a smile to my face when I hear their conversations in the hall and know how much they are learning from teachers, peers, and lab students.
What is your dream for the future of early childhood education?
My dream is for all children to be enrolled in high quality early childhood learning centers and that family SES not to be the deciding variable. I would like centers to have the highest QRS rating and to be NAEYC accredited. First and foremost for this to happen we have to pay early childhood educators a living professional wage and value what they do each and every day.
What’s your favorite book and why?
As I think about the books that immediately come to mind, they seem to be books that show diversity, acceptance, facing challenges, or challenging “norms” as well as some component of empowerment. For children’s book–probably Robert Munsch’s. I have loved to read since I was in elementary school and reading is my favorite form of entertainment. I am in a Book Club where we read and discuss one book per month. I read textbooks and journals. I have a huge collection of children’s literature and still have my Nancy Drew mysteries from when I as a child. My goal is to teach students to create a literature rich environment so children will learn to love to read like I do.