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Educator Spotlight: Amy McCallister, Chesapeake Elementary, 4th grade language arts

Where did you attend college? Ohio University in Athens, and Marshall University in Huntington, West Virginia

How many years have you been teaching? I’ve been teaching for 26 years, all at Chesapeake Elementary.

Why did you decide to become a teacher? My dad was a teacher and principal for 51 years at Chesapeake and Symmes Valley. After seeing what an impact he made on many students’ lives, I wanted to do the same.

Outside of school, what do you enjoy doing for fun? I enjoy reading, shopping with my daughter and walking my dog, Roxy, in the park.

What is one thing your students may not know about you? Before I decided to be a teacher, I went to college for two years to be a news reporter.

Who is your favorite fictional character and why? My favorite fictional character is Bradley Chalkers in Louis Sachar’s book, “There’s a Boy in the Girls’ Bathroom.” This book shows kids another aspect of bullying. The students assume they’ll dislike the bully, but end up loving him after they understand why he’s the way he is. Bradley Chalkers teaches so much about friendship!

When you were a student in the grade you teach, what were your interests?  When I was a student in fourth grade, I loved swimming, singing              and reading.

Who are your favorite performers? My favorite performers are the Christian group, Big Daddy Weave.

How would your co-workers describe your teaching style and personality? My teaching style is very hands on. I like the kids to work in groups so that they learn to problem solve, depend on each other and pull their weight — just like we need to do in life!

Who is your biggest role model and why? My biggest role model is my dad, Bob Harris. He always did what was best for kids. He always went the extra mile for his students and the track runners on his team. He’s a huge inspiration to me in so many ways.

What is your best advice to parents to help their child continue growing academically? Instead of saying “Go do your homework,” sit down with your child for a minute and look at what they’re learning at school. Actually have them show you that they are able to put into practice what they learned that day. Keeping close tabs like that can give you a wealth of information as a parent. Just spending time together is so important!

If my students learn one thing this year, I hope it is…that the little choices you make every day add up to the whole person you become — so make every day count toward something positive!