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Grateful, Thankful, Humbled

June 17, 2020 | Melissa McCallihan

Today I read my last read aloud for the year. It’s a book called Last Day Blues  by Julie Danneberg. I do get last day blues and this year they are bluer than ever! Read aloud has been so impactful this year. From the very first read aloud called First Day Jitters by the same author to today, it has been the time where we as the Brave cohort learned and discussed topics like refugees in the book The Boy at the Back of the Class. We learned about a small group of fifth graders who were doing the best they could to support for each other and be a place of safety and comfort in a book by Jaqueline Woodson called Harbor Me. We then grew our understanding of how people who have autism see and understand the world in a book called BAT and The Waiting Game by Elana K. Arnold. Lastly we went on a crazy ride with the mystery Masterminds by Gordon Korman. Throughout the reading of these books we grew our understanding of each other. We grew to be a strong, brave, welcoming community.

That didn’t change when we went to distance learning. If anything, it became even more apparent. Mostly because the students worked hard. Parents and other caregivers worked hard. And I’m thankful, grateful and humbled. I will never forget this year for many reasons, but mostly because of the way we worked together through an extremely complicated year and came out stronger, braver and kinder. So thank you students. Thank you parents and caregivers. Thank you.

Have a great summer! I hope you read a lot of great books! I will be sharing a summer read aloud file with you tomorrow because most of the students wanted to listen to another great book.

Melissa McCallihan

Teacher, Grade 6; Science Grades 6-8

Teaching children to take risks and fail well is important to Melissa McCallihan, who has taught for over 30 years. She believes children learn as much through their failures as they do through their successes. She celebrates both in her classroom. In collaboration with the middle school director, art teacher, and other fourth and fifth grade teachers, Mrs. McCallihan has been instrumental in developing the STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics) program, an extension of the Lower School’s Shared Space model. “STEAM is where students solve problems and sometimes get it wrong,” says Mrs. McCallihan when asked about risks and failing well. “Students need to learn how to do that with grace, and to try again with grit and determination.” Mrs. McCallihan currently teaches sixth through eighth grade science.

Mrs. McCallihan cares deeply about relationships with her colleagues, students, and families. She works hard to make and maintain connections on a personal and professional level. And follows the mantra “Worship God, Love All.”

When not at school, you can find Mrs. McCallihan searching out a fantastic restaurant or hidden sight to see in New York City.

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