What's in Your Office?

Posted by: Elizabeth Applebaum on Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Welcome to the office of Shannon Hall, director of the Sarah & Irving Pitt Child Development Center (CDC)! Shannon’s office is the place to come when you need inspiration – or are craving chocolate chips. Come in and take a look! 

Anyone in need of good advice need look no further than Shannon Hall’s office. Just behind her desk is the “Wall of Inspiration,” filled with short, encouraging statements like “Embrace the Journey,” “Be Brave, Be You” and “Why Not Today?”

It’s also a good place to find calm. The walls are painted robin’s egg blue and there’s a small bench-like grey sofa that’s comfortable and inviting. Family photos and art are everywhere – starting with Hall’s adorable sons, Coultan, who is 7, and Carter, who is 5. Their photos sit atop a file cabinet next to pictures of Hall and her husband Jeffrey, who works at Chrysler, and a flower picture made by her grandmother, who is 95. (Artistic talent runs in the family. Coultan created a colorful painting just for Mom’s office, which Hall keeps on her side wall.) 

Here’s what else you’ll see if you stop by:

  • Hall is part of a Jewish Community Centers Association initiative called the Sheva Covenant Fellows Institute (“sheva” is Hebrew for “seven”), which employs seven core principles of early care and education and contemporary and ancient texts, along with advocating universal values. On her Wall of Inspiration is a hamsah decorated with green beads and baubles that Hall received from one of her “Sheva sisters.”

  • As part of the Sheva project, Hall traveled to Israel several months ago. Each day she sent back reports about where she was and what she was doing, which were posted at the CDC. In the end, teachers collected all the photos and information and made them into a huge poster, with a map of Israel right in the middle.
  • A second glance reveals that the little sofa is also a treasure box, hiding bandages, extra shoe covers (required for anyone walking into infant and toddler classrooms) and chocolate chips.

  • Lots of educator’s books, including a favorite called Loose Parts, which focuses on using everyday items to teach children a sense of wonder and develop creativity.

  • Notebooks, calendars and blank books waiting for ideas. Though Hall has a computer on her desk, she likes to write out great ideas and her daily schedule.

  • A mug with “Be Awesome!” (a gift from a CDC parent) for tea. (Hall isn’t a big snacker, but she might be talked into a Coke and salt-and-vinegar chips from time to time.)

  • A huge container of school glue.

  • A white orchid that has managed to survive despite the fact that Hall says she’s not especially good with plants.

  • A second desk – which belongs to CDC Assistant Director Lauren Bogorad. She could have had her own office, but instead Hall invited Lauren to share her small space. The two collaborate on everything, so Hall told Bogorad it only made sense for them to be in the same office.
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