The Cooper School Daily

Teacher Spotlight- Marsha McCoy!

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

This is my fifth year teaching at The Cooper School and I am thrilled to the gills to be teaching Kindergarten this year!

2.     What do you value about being at TCS?

Where should I begin? Originally, as a parent and teacher touring the school, I was very drawn to the way that childhood is protected at The Cooper School. The school honors and protects these tender years and the sweetness of childhood in so many beautiful ways. Kids get to be kids, exploring curiosity and wonder in beautiful ways. As an employee, I value working in a unique school setting with an incredibly hard-working team of people who all rally to provide children with an engaging and purposeful educational experience. I value the thoughtfully chosen curriculum that we use at The Cooper School and how I am able to witness such amazing student growth each year. I especially value the project work that allows students to express their learning in such unique and creative ways. I value the way that this school helps to instil confidence and independence in young people through a strong sense of community and a safe space for sharing ideas, discoveries, celebrations, questions, worries and wonders!    

3.     What’s something you’ve learned teaching here?

I have learned that the learning never stops! I’ve also learned a great deal from the teachers I’ve had the honor to work with while I’ve been at The Cooper School. I have been pushed to grow in my own teaching practice and gained confidence in myself as an educator.

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

My Aunt Marsha was an amazing teacher and I always looked up to her when I was little. Not only was she a great teacher but I was named after her.  She would take my brother and I on camping trips to hear bluegrass music and she was always tons of fun and funny too! She had a special kind of “kid magic” and I remember wanting to be like her when I grew up. I remember always asking her to let me grade her papers or just come see her classroom. She was a great storyteller and always had great stories about her students and class. When I finally became a teacher she was so supportive and helped me set up my classroom several times. She taught me that the best way to re-center and ground your class was with a good old fashioned read-aloud. 

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

Each year, I look forward to building beautiful relationships with students and their families. I look forward to creating an inviting space and I really love that teachers create the materials that we use to decorate our walls. I look forward to finding creative ways to utilize our classroom space and the many ways that the classroom evolves throughout the year with the help of the kids and their work bringing the space to life! 

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

 Personally, my approach to balancing creative intelligence, self and social intelligence, and academic mastery is to allow myself to be open to new ideas, brave when things feel hard, and know that I work very hard to do my best and can always learn from my mistakes. 

(This unique braid of ideas is best described through interpretive dance!)

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

I enjoy books with lists, lists of tips, ideas, strategies, things to do, see or make, you name it! I guess I’d like to live in a book full of lists of positive things. 

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

I love shopping. I love collecting. I love creating and being crafty. My home is a curated museum of quirky items. I love creating a comfortable space where I am surrounded by zesty textiles, colors and vintage items from yesteryear! Last year, one of my dreams came true when my family purchased a vintage Shasta camper! It is purple and we love it to bits! I used to be very involved in hoop dance and travel to workshops to learn from hoop dancers from around the country. I don’t hoop as much as I used to but I still love it!