My name is Rachel McGrane and I am so excited to be teaching at my alma mater (I graduated from St. Mary in 1998!). I graduated from California State University, San Marcos with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Literature and Writing Studies. I then went on to earn a Master of Library and Information Science degree with an emphasis in Teacher Librarianship from San Jose State University. I worked at St. Therese Academy as their K-8 school librarian for six years before being hired at St. Mary. When I am not working, I love to spend time with my family, travel, go camping, attend concerts, and take walks. I have a toddler and an infant and love learning about the world through their eyes.
My Aha! moment in history class was when my undergraduate United States history professor told us that the most important aspects of history were what happened, how it happened, and why it happened. Of course, knowing names and dates are important, but they aren’t what drive the purpose of history, which is to help us understand how we got to where we are now and to help us learn from the past to create positive change in our world.
Students will learn the facts and details of events, but will focus their learning on, and engage with, the stories behind those events. They will connect events across decades, build context for decisions and actions, infer motives when none are available, and test their own ethics and morals in decision making as it relates to past events.
We will also incorporate novels into our lessons so that students will have the opportunity to connect with the historical time period they are learning about in class. The sixth graders will read one historical fiction novel and the eighth graders will read a biography and one historical fiction novel.
I look forward to spending the school year with you!