I’ve always held the upmost respect for teachers, especially one in particular. This is why I was not only honoured, but excited when I was asked by a gentleman from Webucator, to blog about a teacher who made a difference in my life. Webucator has been tweeting out the different posts as part of National Teachers’ Day, which is approaching fast. I’m excited to be part of something that will be recognizing and honouring teachers everywhere.
I would like to introduce my readers to an amazing teacher who inspired a handful of children every year for about 30 years. Even though she retired last June, her past students still think very highly of her. Her passion for teaching sparked a flame in her students to learn and help define their own passions. The reason was simple, it was because she believed in each and every one of them. It’s amazing how far a child will go when they know that someone believes in them. It just takes one person. That person; Mrs. Terri Cocke.
She would never follow the lessons in her books, but would rewrite them to create a fun and new way to learn. She would also change them several different ways to adapt to those who needed a different approach. Terri knew that every child was smart and could learn the material needed, some just needed the material presented to them in a different way. She loved teaching so much that she was actually teaching kids to love to learn.
This amazing teacher is the reason why I became an author. Her approach to novel studies was phenomenal! I enjoyed reading the novels she picked out in the 3rd Grade and completing her novel study program so much, that I now write for that level and am including similar novel studies. Heck, I wrote my first book when I was in her class! That one is in my ‘memory box’ though for safe keeping.
Out of her hundreds of students, I was the most fortunate one of them all. Why? I get to call her, ‘”mom”.
Being that she is my mom, I thought a few of you might think I’m a little biased. That is why I reached out to a few of her past students for their input. Their words are a true testiment to my mother’s impact.
“Mrs Cocke was the best teacher that I ever had. I remember being in grade 2 and couldn’t wait to get to grade 3 for her to be my teacher. She made learning fun and made me want to go to school everyday.” – Melanie Hawryluk
“Growing up, I had many struggles in school due to the fact that I learnt differently then most. I’m very much a hands on person and need to know the ‘why’. I had a lot of struggles with math and science because most teachers only taught one way. They did notes on the boards and when I asked why the answer was what it was, they would say because it is. However, in Grade 3 I had one of the BEST teachers a kid could ask for. She not only made it fun, but she actually cared about the students. Looking back now, I am truly thank full for having a teacher like this because she opened up my eyes to how different every person truly is. The teacher I’m talking about is Mrs. Cocke! I still remember coming into class and every morning she had the biggest smile and the greatest welcome. She made learning fun. When you walked through the door, you could just feel this positive energy and wanted to be in class. She taught in many different ways so all the students would be able to learn. If you put your hand up, she would take the time to help you sort out the problem. Even if it took the entire class and into recess, she would be patient enough to sit there and help you through it. If you were not understanding one way, she would teach you a couple other ways until you found a fit. Growing up, I had the best marks in her class because she cared. You could tell how much she truly loved her job. I still remember all the pets, not knowing that she was teaching responsibility. I just thought they were cool, but then again what kid wouldn’t. She made learning fun and no matter the problem; may it have been homework or another student, she was there for you. Mrs Cocke is one of the best teachers I’ve ever known and to this day, when I see her, I still get that warm feeling I got as a kid as well as a great big hug!” – Raelyn Wade
” “The dream begins with a teacher who believes in you, who tugs and pushes and leads you to the next plateau, sometimes poking you with a sharp stick called ‘truth'” – Dan Ruther. This quote represents Terri very well. She was my 3rd grade teacher and made school exciting. She has a heart of gold and loved to teach, she is respected by many (especially myself) and I always look forward to the days that I see her.” – Christina Johnston
I was the child who liked to dream big and truly believed that I could change the world. Many thought this was silly, but I knew it was possible. I watched my mother do it everyday. She changed the worlds of the children she taught. I can only hope that there is a huge part of her in me and I can do the same thing for every child who gets their little hands on my books in September. Like my mother taught me; you have to start somewhere.
For more information on Webucator and their part in National Teachers’ Day, click here