Welcome hOMe students and staff, there are many familiar faces coming back to school this year as well as many not so familiar faces. This school isn’t just new for freshman and transfers, it is a new place for certain staff members as well. One of the many new additions to the Oakland Mills staff this year is Ms. Cooper who teaches English and Social Studies here at OM.
Ms. Cooper taught for 20 years before coming to Oakland Mills as a teacher. The New York native has been teaching in the Baltimore area before coming to Columbia. Ms. Cooper became a teacher because as she stated “When I was a little girl I used to play school, and I had to play teacher if they wouldn’t let me be the teacher I was not happy.” Her job was also convenient with her son’s birth so she could line up their schedule to be out of school together. Ms. Cooper teaches both English and Social studies. She explained, “I have always said that to teach English, you have to teach history.” Ms. Cooper continued, “Content without context is meaningless.” So she decided to hold up her beliefs by teaching history to gain context on the literature.
A big influence on her life was her 6th grade math teacher and her parents. Her teacher helped her get more comfortable with math and helped her overcome her weariness towards the subject. “She definitely inspired me to be able to work with someone who may be blocked towards a particular subject or a particular situation, to sort of walk them through it, to where they realize ‘I really can do it if I put forth the effort’.” Ms. Cooper also said that her parents made her read a lot and that is what made her love to learn.
Ms. Cooper attended high school was at a Catholic school for girls. There she focused on college. “I did what I needed to do to prepare to move out of my father’s house and to be on my own,” she stated. Her least favorite part of high school were the nuns, stating that they never tried to understand what she was going through.
At Oakland Mills High School she is looking forward to connecting with the community. Her advice to the new students at Oakland Mills would be focus on relationships and bonding because, in her words, “Life is about building relationships.” She also says to connect with teachers, choose your friends wisely, and join organizations like clubs, sports, or volunteer groups. Regarding Oakland Mills, she said, “I think OM is a beautiful place, I think the students are respectful, friendly, and teachable, and I definitely can see that OM is here to serve the community”.
For advice for seniors Ms. Cooper says to push yourself in college. “There is no growth in a comfort zone, and no comfort in a growth zone,” she stated. She also said there are viable options other than college as well. “College is not for everyone, or college is not for everyone directly after high school. Sometimes it is wise to give your brain a break and just take a gap year.”
Her hobbies outside of school are spending time with friends, traveling, shopping and trying new foods. Her favorite book is The Bible, because “It is another example of timeless literature, the Bible is the book of books.” The information contained in that book is just as relevant today as it was when it was written.” As for pets, she is a dog person, and wants to one day get a dog breed called the American Bully.
Make sure to give a warm welcome to Ms. Cooper, a new member of the OM community.