Teacher Appreciation Week
Teacher Appreciation Week is a May ritual designed to show gratitude and recognize the contributions of teachers and educators. Last week, students, parents, school administrators, and communities came together to express their appreciation for the hard work, dedication, and impact that teachers have on the lives of students and the community as a whole.
Cooke honors and acknowledges teachers’ important role in shaping their students’ lives. It reminds us of their profound impact in nurturing a love for learning, imparting knowledge, and helping students develop the skills and confidence necessary to succeed academically and personally.
(Cooke Staff, 1713 Madison Avenue)
Throughout the week, we organized various activities and initiatives to demonstrate appreciation for teachers. These included thank-you notes, letters, raffles, breakfasts and lunches, and special events. Over the week, a positive and supportive atmosphere embraced our teachers as we celebrated their invaluable contributions.
Teacher Appreciation Week is an important reminder to express gratitude for the tireless work and commitment of teachers, who often go above and beyond to make a difference in the lives of their students. The response from the parent community was wonderful, and we greatly appreciate the way families and friends contributed to this amazing week!
(Photo Gallery of Cooke staff enjoying Teacher Appreciation Week)
Cooke teachers deserve special thanks because of their unique skills, knowledge, and qualities that enable them to support and educate students with diverse learning needs and disabilities. Here are a few reasons why our special education teachers are so special:
Cooke staff are experts in specialized instruction: Our special education educators undergo specific training and acquire expertise in providing specialized instruction tailored to meet the individual needs of students with disabilities. They are well-versed in various teaching strategies, accommodations, and modifications to ensure students with diverse learning abilities can access and progress in their education.
Cooke staff provide an individualized approach: Our staff understands that each student has unique strengths, challenges, and learning styles. They are skilled at assessing individual needs, designing personalized learning plans, and adapting instructional techniques to support students’ academic, social, emotional, and behavioral development.
Cooke staff are advocates for students: Special education staff advocate for our students, ensuring they receive the necessary resources, accommodations, and support services they require to succeed in school. They collaborate with parents, school administrators, and other professionals to create inclusive and supportive learning environments that meet the diverse needs of their students.
Cooke staff demonstrate patience and empathy: Teaching students with disabilities often requires extra patience, understanding, and empathy. Our staff possess these qualities in abundance, as they work closely with students who may face academic, social, or emotional challenges. They create a safe and nurturing environment where students feel supported and encouraged to overcome obstacles and reach their full potential.
(Cooke Transitions Staff)
Cooke staff demonstrate collaboration and teamwork: Cooke staff collaborate with various professionals to develop and implement individualized education plans for our students. They actively engage in teamwork and multidisciplinary collaboration to ensure that students receive comprehensive and coordinated support.
Cooke staff demonstrate flexibility and adaptability: Cooke staff often encounter unexpected situations and evolving needs in the classroom. They must be flexible and adaptable, adjusting their instructional strategies and approaches to meet the changing requirements of their students. They embrace innovative teaching methods and find creative solutions to address individual challenges.
Cooke staff have an impact on students’ lives: Cooke staff make a profound and lasting impact on the lives of their students. Through their dedication, support, and belief in the abilities of students with disabilities, they help them overcome obstacles, develop essential skills, and build self-confidence. Special education teachers empower their students to become independent learners and active participants in society.
The role of a Cooke staff member is demanding but incredibly rewarding. Their commitment, expertise, and compassion make them special individuals who play a vital role in ensuring that all students, regardless of their unique needs, receive a quality education and the opportunity to thrive. Teacher Appreciation Week is certainly one way to celebrate their work, but in truth, they should be celebrated every day!
Taft Tenants’ Association Award
Cooke Art Therapy: Who Is Your Marigold?
In art class, a sweet, strong scent filled the room as students explored the full sensory experience of smelling, painting & touching marigolds! Through that exploration, everything turned orange, from our hands to our hearts! Our hands turned orange from the orange paint that was used to create circular monoprints which represented our first layers in the process of creating marigolds.
For the second layer, the details in the pedals were added. Conversations deepened as we discussed the symbolism of marigolds. In any garden, a marigold is a strong and dependable flower that supports the growth of any surrounding companion plant. In Art & Drama Therapy, we used the metaphor of marigolds to reflect on the people in our lives who are also strong and dependable. We honored the loved ones who supported our growth. Many “shutouts” were shared—parents, siblings, friends, teachers, grandparents and neighbors were identified as people who help us grow.
Through our time with the marigolds in the art room, we had an opportunity to contemplate the resourcefulness of the marigold itself. We were in awe that a marigold creates its own new seeds in its petals. This made us think of our own Cooke community. It reminded us of our resourcefulness and the love that is regenerated year after year.
Maya Angelou said “You can’t use up creativity. The more you use it, the more you have.” We have plenty of creativity here at Cooke; it is abundant. It never runs out. And within our community here, we have a whole metaphorical field of marigolds! We stand alongside one another—sturdy, strong and sweet—all in the efforts to support our fabulous young people as they grow!
Who is your marigold?
Less Than A Week Away!
We’re getting down to the wire—get your tickets today so you don’t miss out on the return to our in-person chefs tasting gala on May 24. After a three-year hiatus, you may have forgotten how fabulous this party is. Let us refresh your memory:
- A 21+ event featuring delectable tastings and top-shelf cocktails
- A chance to taste new creations from renowned chefs (accompanied by Cooke student sous chefs), they will tempt your palate with a wide array of sweet and savory foods
- Open seating with time to mix and mingle freely as you enjoy beautiful views of the Hudson and great company with fellow Cooke friends and family
- A fun auction (part entertainment/part paddle raise) that supports the renovation of our Transitions and Alumni Services learning spaces and an expansion of programming
Great food and cocktails + the Cooke community = A wonderful evening helping to build a bright future for young people with disabilities. You don’t want to miss out on a truly wonderful opportunity to have tons of fun while doing good for generations of Cooke students and alums to come.
Dates to Remember
May 29: Memorial Day – SCHOOL CLOSED
June 8: Staff Professional development – NO CLASS FOR STUDENTS
June 12: Cooke Transitions Graduation
June 13: 8th Grade Graduation
June 14: 12th Grade Graduation
June 16: Last Day of School for Students – NOON DISMISSAL
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