Sometimes people do things that restore one's faith in a loving, accepting world at a time when others seem bent on hatred, selfishness, fear and division.

Calvin has had the good fortune of being mainstreamed in Mr. Steven Shea's fifth grade class. On several occasions last year, Mr. Shea called me at home to invite Calvin to join the class on summer field trips. We were able to go on one of them, a hike to Morse Mountain. For most of the way, I pushed Calvin in the stroller while the other children walked. That morning, I witnessed the openness, kindness and compassion that Steven had instilled in his students. It meant so much to me that he had included Calvin, even though he wasn't sure the trips would be easy or possible for us to negotiate.

Last Friday, Calvin came home with several strips of paper and a note from his aide explaining that Mr. Shea's students had written each other compliments. Several of the children had chosen to write some for Calvin:

To Calvin, You are a rock star. I loved coming into Ms. Andersons room to volenteer and see you and Sammy and Alden. Your mom was right you have no mean bone in your body. From Jack

Kalven, you are really nice. I"m glad to be in your class.

Calvin: Even though you don't come to class much we think of you a lot. —Morgan

to: Calvin you are extremlly nice to everyone and its amazing what you have accomplished.

Calvin, your very nice and always wave to me in the halls. Luke

Calvin—you seem really nice and I"m glad you dropped in our class to meet you.—Zoe

Calvin you are always happy and smiling. —Elly

Mr. Shea has recently resigned his post. The school is no doubt losing a wonderful teacher who taught his students the valuable lessons of empathy, acceptance and love, all of which are paramount considering the state of things in this crazy nation of ours.

Thank you, Steven. Best of luck in all you endeavor. Please give my best to your group of remarkable kids.

Calvin with Mr. Shea's other fifth graders on top of Morse Mountain, summer 2015


  1. Thank you Christie. It has been my pleasure to teach this group. Calvin has helped the class learn as well. He will be in great hands with Jonathan next year.