Tisha Hayes wearing a blue shirt and black blazer stands in courtyard smiling at the camera.

Faculty Spotlight: ‘Literacy Is a Basic Human Right,’ Professor Says

Tisha Hayes discovered early that literacy was a critical key to learning. At UVA, she passes on this tenet to aspiring teachers.

Mitchell Powers

It’s not a stretch to say Tisha Hayes was destined to be a teacher.

Her mom was in education. So were several of her cousins. And growing up, Hayes spent her summers working at a program for children with special needs. It was those summers that shaped her future.

Her first job in Southwest Virginia was as a special education teacher. She soon realized many of her students struggled most with reading and writing. Literacy, she came to understand, is the key that opens the doors to learning.

Now, the associate professor in the University of Virginia’s School of Education and Human Development works with current and aspiring teachers to impart the importance of literacy.


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