Larry D. Cooper named American High's Rookie Teacher of Year

Wednesday, January 30, 2019 0 Comments

Larry D. Cooper named American High's Rookie Teacher of Year
Larry D. Cooper, American Senior High’s Rookie Teacher of the Year, is a person who has extensive background in sales, management and customer service skills.
On the surface, one might not see the correlation between sales ability and teaching skills but Cooper’s classroom success show that they are one in the same.
About seven years ago, Cooper was watching the movie “Larry Crowne”, a movie in which Tom Hanks played the role of a manager at a Walmart-type store who had recently been let go from his job for not having a college degree. Subsequently, Hanks character decides to go back to school to get his college degree.
This movie reminded Cooper that it is never too late to go back to school. It was then that he realized that it was time for him to go back to school. Cooper believes an effective teacher has to grasp the attention of their students, manage student behaviors and ultimately create an atmosphere that is conducive to learning.
With over five years as a sales manager for a car rental agency, Cooper has faced similar challenges where he had to manage employee sales numbers, be profitable and above all create a sales environment. These skills translate well to the world of teaching.
Teachers today have a daunting task of educating students while at the same time preparing them for high stakes testing. Fortunately for Cooper, there were many days when he had to manage 15 employees each of whom had separate tasks, as well as man the phones and at the same time keep an office full of customers content. With this experience, he plans to use many of the ideas that were useful in coaching and developing employees. 
Cooper knows that keeping a student engaged in the learning process is key to having a student learn the material. That is why he is a strong proponent of gamification. Cooper uses Quizizz, which allows students to answer questions in a gameshow atmosphere. Teachers must prepare students to do well on standardized tests. To be effective at this, one has to create competition between students thereby each student pushes each other to do better. Essentially, this becomes the all important environment.
An effective teacher understands and implements the Florida Educator Accomplished Practices. These practices ensure that a teacher creates high standards for their students to uphold, is uniquely qualified to teach the curriculum and is always striving for student achievement. Cooper affirms that this will be his goal every day that he steps into the classroom. Teachers are like sculptors. They mold their students into someone with purpose and form.

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