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Faculty Friday: Nancy Cook

Nancy Cook

 

2nd Grade Teacher, Team Leader Grades K-2

 

Education: B.A. in English, University of Connecticut; Masters Degree, Early Childhood and Elementary Education, College of New Rochelle

 

When did you join the GCS community?

This is my 21st year at Greenwich Catholic School. This was my first job, and after starting out as a Kindergarten Assistant, I became a 2nd Grade Teacher and loved it so much I have been here ever since.

 

How do you see your role as Team Leader?

The team of teachers for Grades K-2 are focused on preparing the students for success as they transition into the older grades and beyond. As a Team Leader, I am in a unique position to work collaboratively with the teachers to find ways to enhance the curriculum, to help bridge and streamline effective communication between teachers and our administration, and to facilitate new initiatives within the Lower School.

 

What traditions do your 2nd Graders look forward to each year?

The most important and significant milestone for 2nd Graders is the Sacrament of First Holy Communion. Although the students celebrate the sacrament first within their parishes, there is a special Mass at GCS in June so they can receive the sacrament for the first time together as a class.  We also have some traditions that align with our ELA and Religion curriculum. Our “Poetry Cafe” event is the culmination of our poetry studies. The students write poetry throughout the third and fourth quarters,  publish books of their poems and then present them to classmates and parents. And every year there is a “Nativity Banner” project that the students and parents work on together as part of our studies about Advent and Christmas. Families are excited to have the banners to hang in their homes as part of their Christmas tradition.

 

What surprises you about your students?

Not surprisingly, our GCS students have a love of learning that is fostered as part of the PreK, Kindergarten and Lower School years. However, I’m always surprised to see how each new class of 2nd graders start to build working relationships with each other in the classroom, through collaborative activities, STEM assignments and group projects. We work through the collaborative process, and it surprises me to watch how willing the students are to compromise and think strategically as a group.


Is there any inter-disciplinary collaboration at this grade level?

Absolutely! Every year, my students’ favorite unit of study is Japan. We study Japanese society, culture and traditions, learn to recognize basic vocabulary and make traditional Japanese Carp Kites in Art Class and design their own kimonos.  At the end of the year, we celebrate their knowledge of the Japanese culture by taking the classes on a field trip for a Hibachi lunch, which is a highlight of the year for them, and something I always look forward to.

 

What keeps you busy when you’re not at GCS?

Lately, I’ve been staying up late watching my Yankees - I’m a lifelong fan and and am excited to see them back in the postseason! I also spend a lot of time with my family and friends, and love watching my niece and nephew playing in their soccer and baseball games on the weekends.

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