Teaching is in my soul. It is a gift from my late father, a teacher whom students always remember. Dad taught physics, and my memories include countless occasions when I was with Dad and he ran into former students.
Teaching is in my soul. It is a gift from my late father, a teacher whom students always remember. Dad taught physics, and my memories include countless occasions when I was with Dad and he ran into former students. They would come up to him, beaming, grateful, and happy to see him. And whenever he had taught them, the students smiled and told me: “Mr. Cooper was the best teacher I ever had.”
Dad brought physics alive. His students didn’t just read about velocity, force, and momentum. They built and launched rockets under Dad’s guidance in the school’s rocket club. He was tough, with high expectations. Yet, his students knew that he cared. He spent long hours reviewing his students’ work, providing guidance, feedback, and encouragement. Dad also spent many summers in school himself as a member of a group of teachers from across the nation who developed innovative methods for teaching physics in the Space Age.
Like many teachers of his era, Dad was a disciplinarian, with just the right touch of seriousness to let students know that he meant business. He did not, in his words, “go for the okey-doke,” and as a result, his students did not want to disappoint him. He retained that respect when he later became an administrator, and always remained a teacher to his core. Dad believed in the importance of education, and he knew that learning changes lives – not just for students, but also for those privileged to teach them.
My work as a teacher honors my father’s memory and continues a family legacy. My teaching career is a love letter to my father. I am Mr. Cooper’s daughter, and I want to be the best teacher my students ever had.