Name: Michelle Alignay Zamora
Title/Department: Associate Students, director of the SDSU Children’s Center
1) What inspired you to do this kind of work?
I have always loved working with children. There is a saying that goes, “It takes a village to raise a child.” I believe that is a true statement. My work here helps the children get an early start at becoming positive contributors to the world.
2) How long have you worked at SDSU?
I have held my position as director since July 2015. But I have worked for Associated Students off and on since 1998. First, as a part-time student employee during my undergrad (1998 through 2000), then again from 2005 to 2010 as a full-time employee supervising teacher at the center. Then I returned last summer.
3) What is the best piece of advice you ever received?
Someone once told me that, "People don’t always remember what you said, but they will always remember how you make them feel." This has stuck with me for a very long time and as a teacher, I feel that it's important to create positive relationships with everyone we interact with.
Working with young children especially you will find that you repeat yourself and can get frustrated easily with a two-year-old who doesn't seem to listen. But what remains important is for the child to remember the positive impact you had on them, rather then the 100 times you asked them to sit down.
4) What is your favorite thing about your job?
The people — adults and children — I work with. Especially the children because they remind me every day the joys of life that we forget as adults.
5) What about your field or position do you think would surprise people the most?
That when we see children go home with dirty clothes we think to ourselves, "They had a great day!"
6) What is the most interesting or surprising thing about you?
My parents had to bring me to childcare starting at age three. We all think it is ironic that I work in this field, as my parents would say that I would cry every time I got dropped off and would also be crying when they would pick me up.
7) If you could only rescue one thing from your burning office, what would it be?
The pictures of my family.