Barb Callaghan Stays Connected Through Teaching

Barb Callaghan taught at MMS for eight years, from 2004 to 2012, and when her husband, an international relations professor, took a job teaching in Singapore, she figured it’d just be a short blip in their lives. His first contract was for just three years. The native Torontonian had moved to New York, after all, so a new country didn’t daunt her too much.

Barb Callaghan

To her surprise, the first year was a struggle. It was only when she returned to New York that following summer that she understood what might help her feel more at home.  “I visited MMS, and when I saw everyone, I said ‘I think I need to start teaching again because I miss having a community,’ and that’s when I started applying to teaching jobs.” She landed at the Singapore American School and has been there ever since.

“Once you get into the school community, you do a lot together socially,” said Callaghan. “You do a lot of school events and that becomes part of your life.”

She remembers MMS as “a small school with a really big heart,” where “teachers connecting with parents, and teachers connecting with students was really emphasized. You got to know your students and families so well. I think that helped a lot for kids’ learning.”

Nine years after leaving New York City, Callaghan says both of her daughters, ages nine and 15, consider Singapore home. She pursued a master’s in special education there and has most recently been teaching eighth grade as a learning support teacher helping kids with special needs in English language arts classes. As the kids get older, Callaghan is starting to think about where they’ll call home next.

“We’ll probably stay until my eldest graduates from high school, then go back to Canada,” said Callaghan, “Part of my heart is still in New York and MMS, but if I could pick, I would go to Montreal.”