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College alumna, Aderhold relative visits children’s literature class

  |   Anika Chaturvedi   |   Permalink   |   Alumni,   Spotlight,   Students and Faculty

Students taking a diverse children’s literature course received words of wisdom and a piece of Mary Frances Early College of Education history from a recent visitor.

Pam Aderholt Morris (B.S.Ed. ’79) graduated from the College with a degree in early childhood education and jumped straight into teaching first grade. Morris went on to teach first and second grades for more than 30 years, retiring in 2021.

“I became a teacher primarily because I wanted to positively influence young children’s lives. My own experiences in school, particularly the early grades, greatly influenced my decision,” Morris said. “I always loved school! So, it just seemed a natural progression to continue.”

Morris is more than an alumna of the College—she shares the name of one of its buildings. Morris is the great niece of O.C. Aderhold, former dean of the College of Education and president of the University of Georgia, for whom Aderhold Hall is named. Some Aderhold relatives, like Morris, spell the name as Aderholt with a “T.”

Despite the family connection, Morris said the fact that her great uncle and grandparents were all educators did not influence her decision to go into the education field.

“Maybe it was in the genes!” Morris said.

Amy Pulliam (Ph.D. ’25), instructor of record for LLED 2110, Survey of Diverse Literature to Young Adults, became friends with Morris when they taught first grade together in Walton County for 15 years. Part of 2110’s curriculum includes students conducting four read-aloud sessions for pre-K students in the McPhaul Center and River’s Crossing. Before starting the sessions, Pulliam asked her students if they would like to hear from an expert on the subject.

“I thought, gosh, just as we’re getting ready to do these read-alouds, I bet she could really give us just some good practical wisdom on things we should do and things maybe we shouldn’t do,” Pulliam said.

Situated in the Curriculum Materials Library in Aderhold Hall, Morris checked out manipulatives, like puppets and a flannel board, and a range of books to demonstrate how to engage three- and four-year-olds in read-alouds. She also held a Q&A session with students and highlighted how children’s literature can foster meaningful conversations with young learners.

“Our Curriculum Materials Library really has so much that the students can use throughout their studies,” Pulliam said. “But particularly, they had a treasure trove of opportunities for the 2110 students to use with their project of reading aloud to the McPhaul Center and River’s Crossing classmates, so Pam wanted to exemplify that.”

Morris said her visit to Pulliam’s class was a great experience to share her love of teaching with the students, and it was also the first time she had returned to Aderhold Hall since graduating.

“My hope is that the student teachers learned a few tips to use with young children,” Morris said. “Most of all, I hope I conveyed to them that teaching can be a real joy, not just a job, when you simply love the children and have fun every day! I surely did.”

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