We have been blessed to have several new staff members joining our school community this year. Mrs. Kristen McShane is joining Grace as our Reading Specialist, and has kindly shared a little bit about herself with us in today's Glimpse of Grace.
Tell us a little about yourself.
I have been in the field of education for 15 years in many capacities - I have worked as an elementary and special education teacher in suburban, city, private and public schools, a doctoral student working with teacher candidates and assisting research, and now as a business owner of The Learning Specialist. Celebrating the growth and success of others is what brings me the greatest joy. This work is made for me!
What do you like to do when you aren't working?
When I am not working, I love to spend time with my husband Luke, daughter Reagan and our Bernese Mountain Dog named Faith! We love to hike in the forest preserve, sit under our pergola in our backyard (that Luke built!) and go on "flashlight" walks after dark. We live a pretty simple life and we love it. I also love to cook because it allows me to be creative. In my past life, I was a competitive dancer so every now and again I get back to my roots with a class or freestyling in my basement.
What are you most looking forward to about working at Grace?
I love the community at Grace. Last year, I supported a few families independently at Grace and got to know some of the staff- everyone is warm, welcoming and supportive. I believe that the quality of your work environment is central to your health and I knew right away that Grace was a place I wanted to be. Thank you for including me here.
Grace Lutheran School is often described as a place where children grow in faith and character as well as academics. How does this apply in your position?
As the Reading Specialist, I will bring ample opportunities for students to explore the beliefs about themselves as readers or writers, as well as developing the skills to gain literacy proficiency. Many of my students come to me with feelings of doubt about their ability to learn or read. Through our work together, students are able to see that with hard work and perseverance (and the provided necessary and effective support, of course)- they can do way more than originally perceived. The best part of my work is directly witnessing these limiting beliefs give way to confidence, skill and strength!
Anything else you'd like us to know?
I am grateful to be here working with Grace families, students and staff- thank you!