#PartnerProfile: Theresa Cooke
What do you enjoy most about being an educator?
I enjoy presenting lessons to the students that not only engage them and make them smile, but also inspire them to want to learn more. When I leave a room and a student says "Aww, I don't want you to go!" then I know that I did my job. That student is thirsting for more knowledge.
What was your favorite school subject growing up?
My favorite subject was social studies/history throughout elementary, high school, and college. I am intrigued that as much as things change in the world like technology, education, and economics; one can find similarities in humanity throughout history. Lessons can always be learned from the past and applied today. My favorite reading genre is historical fiction as well!
What influenced you most to become a teacher?
I always wanted to be a teacher from an early age, however when I attended college I became an economics major. Then I worked a 20+ year career in the investment banking industry. After a life-changing tragedy, I quit my job and went back to school to become a teacher.
I graduated Georgian Court University, Lakewood, NJ last May with a Master of Science in Special Education.
My work with the children is the best medicine for me. If I could make someone's life better, help someone to see a brighter future, or open a door to a new possibility then I am a happy woman.
What's the best piece of advice you've been given?
The best advice given to me in graduate school was to have "with-it-ness." Sister Pat, our literacy professor, held every position from classroom teacher to principal to superintendent of an archdiocese school district, told her students that we need to keep up with new trends in order to speak and understand the students' language and fads.
What your favorite way to relieve stress?
My favorite way to relieve stress is to do regulated breathing and muscle relaxation exercises. This technique helps me to focus on myself and my well-being other than some problem or stressful situation at hand.
This is why Ms. Silva (teacher assistant) and myself love Move This World; because it provides the children with the vocabulary and exercises to self-soothe and self-regulate behavior and emotions. Ms. Silva and I make time everyday for the Move This World videos.
What's one activity/hobby/ritual you do regularly to support your own emotional well-being?
My quick fix ritual to de-stress is to have a manicure/pedicure. I sit in the big, comfy chair, turn on the automatic massage, and turn-off my mind as I am being pampered. I try to get full body massages at least a couple of times a year. No talking allowed!