Elizabeth Tertell is a full-time Instructor in the College of Education at Ashford University. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education from Southern Illinois University, an MEd in Instructional Leadership with an Early Childhood Education (ECE) specialization from University of Illinois at Chicago, and a Post Graduate Certificate in Human Development from Pacific Oaks College in Pasadena, CA. She has over thirty years experience in the ECE field and had been a teacher and director in Head Start and ECE programs. She has also been a trainer and consultant in the field, and has taught at various colleges and universities since 1984. She has studied in Reggio Emilia, Italy. and has worked with the state of Illinois in developing and supporting families with children who have special rights. Additionally, she was the co-author and co-editor of the book When Teachers Reflect: Journeys Toward Appropriate Inclusive Practice, published by NAEYC in 1998. “What is most important to me in teaching are the relationships and the sense of community that occurs in all learning environments,” she explains. “I love when students start asking themselves the questions I might have asked and when they encourage and support each other’s learning and growth.” Her work as a teacher and director have taught her that it is important to create a community and to encourage students to find their voice. “My experiences in, and with, the Reggio Emilia approach have supported the idea that respect and seeing everyone’s strengths and abilities are important at every age, and also that play and being joyful is key!” Mrs. Tertell is the youngest of six siblings, who all still live in the Chicago area. As a parent to her son Quinn with her husband Joe, she feels that being a parent has been one of the most important aspects affecting how she teaches. Among her personal passions are running every day and caring for the rescue collies her family has adopted.