There aren’t enough good things to can say about the woman who was my first-grade teacher and therefore my formal introduction to education. She taught me such essentials as reading, writing my name, math and more.
But more than that, Mrs. Cooper was a staple of our small, island community; by the time she was teaching me she had already taught my father, aunts, uncles and so many of the leaders in my hometown. Everyone loved her, and they still do, for her emphasis on teaching the whole student. No one left her classroom without learning what it meant to be kind, how to share, how to have good manners, how to speak respectfully to adults and to each other and so much more. She didn’t just teach us, she loved us!