Valerie Hall, Ph.D. is a School of Education faculty member. With her undergraduate degree in elementary education, Valerie began her teaching career in 1st, 2nd and 5th grade classrooms in I.P.S. She also taught 3rd grade and special education in Pike Township. She completed her masters degree with licensing for mentally handicapped, learning disabled, and reading while she was working in the classroom. After the birth of her son, she took a break from teaching and tutored children at home for 10 years. She then returned to school and finished her doctorate in curriculum and instruction with an emphasis on literacy. She taught at Depauw University and Ball State and for her church before coming to Marian College in 2000.
Describing her journey toward teaching in the college classroom, Valerie says, “When I began working on my doctorate, I was not sure what I wanted to do. I was just interested in learning more for myself. As I studied, I worked as a graduate teaching assistant, teaching the reading and language arts courses at Purdue. As I gained experience teaching at the college level, I exercised new strategies and really enjoyed building relationships with my students. I feel like my work is greatly multiplied at this level.” Valerie also shares her knowledge and skill not only outside the classroom, but outside the country. She trains teachers in Haiti and other Latin American countries.
Valerie was drawn to Marian by its value system and by the supportive community in the education department. She enjoys extending the same warm welcome to new members of the department that she received when she first came on board. She originally interviewed for the position of social studies professor, but was able to use her background to step into the role of Director of Literacy in the education department.
Valerie’s philosophy of education begins with knowing and accepting individual students’ developmental level. From there, she believes in providing the challenges they need to develop as much as they can. She adds that this philosophy supports her knowledge of special education and English language learners. Her advice to new teachers is that they must love learning themselves if they expect to pass that love on to their students. “I love learning new things and want to pass that along to my MAT students, undergraduates, and children.”