Clarissa Willis is an author, consultant, and professional developmental specialist. She provides workshops, keynote addresses, and customized professional development both nationally and internationally. In her spare time, she writes early childhood curricula, teacher resource books, and books for children.
Clarissa (Chrissy) Willis was raised in Little Rock, Arkansas, and has lived all over the United States. Clarissa has an extensive background in early childhood education. She taught kindergarten, special education, and higher education settings. In addition, she often refers to herself as a recovering speech-language pathologist. Formerly, the Associate Director of the Center of Excellence in Early Childhood Learning and Development at East Tennessee State University, she directed such projects as Tennessee's Early Intervention System Technical Assistance Project, The East Tennessee Autism Training Project, and Expanding Horizons Early Intervention Program to name a few. She was a Senior Vice President at Kaplan Early Learning Company for five years overseeing intellectual properties and curriculum development. In 2013, she returned to her first love, teaching, and currently is a Professor of Teacher Education at the University of Southern Indiana.
Clarissa Willis has a Ph.D. in Early Childhood Special Education from the University of Southern Mississippi. She also has a Master's Degree in Speech-Language Pathology from the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville. She has traveled extensively as an educational consultant and keynote speaker. To download her current curriculum vitae click here.
Clarissa is excited to announce that her newest Children's book Anderson the Ornithologist, will be available in late Fall. Coming next Spring, a resource book for teachers, Great Teachers Don't Just Love Kids. Look for her children's book about anxiety, Critter Invasion, at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or order it from your favorite book store.
Every child is unique, and I believe that nurturing environments encourage growth, confidence, and success. As a special educator, I know that all children, including those with special needs, learn best in natural environments. By using a strengths-based approach children thrive and grow. Early childhood education is my life's work, and I believe a child should see the world around her as an exciting place, filled with wonderful things to explore and discover-- as teachers, parents, and grandparents it is our job to make that experience a joyful one!
Check out this video of Dr. Willis giving a virtual keynote speech to 900 Teachers in South Carolina