Monongalia County Schools Fourth-Grade Teacher Abbey Coker said her favorite part of being an educator is the connections she makes with her students.
“I became a teacher to work with children and to build relationships with them. Not only is it rewarding to teach them the standards and skills to be successful in the classroom, but also to teach them to be kind humans and how to be successful in their everyday life. Even though my goal is to teach my students the things they need to know each year, I always end up learning new things from each set of students that enter my room.”
As an educator at Skyview Elementary School, Mrs. Coker said she feels very lucky to be a teacher in the state of West Virginia.
“They provide teachers with trainings, materials, and anything they need to be successful in the classroom. The education system in West Virginia has provided me many opportunities to grow in my thinking and learning. The West Virginia school system knows the importance of academics and the collaboration between teachers in preparing students for the next stages of their lives. Our students leave public school with a well-rounded education and the ability to compete globally in their chosen career path. My oldest daughter enters the school system this year, and I am happy for her to begin this journey in the wonderful state of West Virginia.”
The pandemic has affected every school community in some form or fashion, but Mrs. Coker said she’s enjoyed getting to know her students and their families despite the challenges all teachers have faced.
“Over these past 15 months, I have gotten to know my students and their families so well. I visited them at their houses to drop off food and books, just to wave and say hi, or provide anything they needed. It was so neat to see them in a different environment than the classroom, and I will forever remember these visits.”
For the past decade, Mrs. Coker has served students, and as far as she can remember, she has always had that teacher mindset. One positive impact of her teaching experience was the opportunity to “loop,” which means she got to form deeper relationships with her students.
“I knew my kids from day one on the second year I had them. I knew where they were academically, and I knew their interests. Another thing that was helpful is I already knew the families and had lines of communication ready to go. I was very close with each group of kids that I looped with,” Mrs. Coker said. “My first group of third graders graduated high school this year and something I will never forget is receiving graduation announcements in the mail for some of them. After 10 years, they remembered me and wanted me to celebrate their graduations with them.”
When Mrs. Coker isn’t busy in the classroom, she enjoys spending time with her husband, Josh, and their three little girls: Presley, Callie, and Kenley. Together, they share two dogs, Jack and Jill.