The Cooper School Daily

An Interview with Grade 1 Teacher, Lou Cherry…

What do you do at The Cooper School and how long have you been here?

At The Cooper School, I teach First Grade with Marsha McCoy! Previously at TCS, I taught Kindergarten, Third Grade, Orton-Gillingham reading groups across grade levels, and worked in the office as our school’s Parent and Community Liaison. 

What do you value about being at TCS?

I value the professional development and growth offered at The Cooper School. As an educator, I continue learning by attending workshops, observing other teachers, reading books, or leading staff meetings. I feel enormously proud of my coworkers as we work together to grow into more polished educators. 

What’s something you’ve learned teaching here?

As a TCS teacher, I’ve enjoyed being a part of creating learning environments where students feel safe making mistakes, being the “boss of their learning”, access materials around the room independently, and asking for help from their teachers or peers. 

Which educator has influenced you the most in your life, and how?

My Fifth Grade teacher, Mrs. Kabis, was the most influential educator in my world! She was an animated teacher who had high expectations and cared about her students. She acted out vocabulary words. We created commercials instead of writing book reports. I remember she came to one of my soccer games on a weekend. During the talent show, she wore a sequin show dress and sang on roller skates! She was absolutely mesmerizing and a natural performer. She sparked a passion for learning in me as a young student. She was a huge influence in my decision to become an elementary school teacher. 

What do you look forward to in your role here (lesson, section, topic, etc.) each year?

I feel very fortunate to teach and work at The Cooper School. It’s a badge of honor. Each year, I look forward to professional growth, watching old students grow, younger siblings start in Kindergarten, and watching the imaginative playground games at recess. 

What is an example of your approach to dynamically balancing creative intelligence, self and social intelligence and academic mastery in your work at TCS?

I enjoy learning centers at TCS. Every grade participates in centers each week. It’s an engaging way for students to be “the boss of their learning”, to practice newly learned skills in game formats, to practice using manipulatives and tools, or to RTW (return to work) if they need extra time to complete an assignment. Students often work in partnerships or small groups to accomplish an end product during learning centers. 

If you could live in a book, what book would it be?

If I could live in a book, I would live in Toy Dance Party by Emily Jenkins. It’s full of friendships and adventures! 

What’s something this community might not know about you?

I have two sisters and grew up in a blended household as one of six kids! I have enormous respect for sibling relationships. I think brothers and sisters have a deep bond and support them in the classroom, in a birthday celebration circle, on the playground, and whenever possible.