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November 20, 2019
 

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Rachel Cooney Temple likes to have students focus on more than just math in the classroom

My goal: "At the end of each day I've helped improve a student's day somehow."

Compiled by Darlene Bowers
Welcome to Ada Icon's "Teacher Feature.” Here we share thoughts and insights from local teachers who lift up and inspire our students. Let us lift up and inspire these educators as well. Today we meet Rachel Cooney Temple.

Have you ever thought about trying to be a positive moment in someone’s day or how about being a better version of yourself each day? Rachel Cooney Temple has…whether personally, academically or both, she’s working toward these goals with her students each day. Read on to learn about more of Rachel’s awesome goals.

Rachel Cooney Temple

What subjects and grades do you teach?
I teach a few from each grade 9-12-- Geometry, Algebra 3, Math Intervention.

Tell us about your extracurricular activities, groups, clubs or sports you are involved with.
In school: Aspirations Adviser, I am one of four. It is an advisory council of students that bring about change and improvement for Ada schools, they offer suggestions for change to be made and methods to effect those changes to our teachers and administration.

Out of school: Coached by Christ (CBC) group leader and Ladies Missionary Vice President at Grace Gospel Church in Ada, Chauffeur to and fan of anything my daughters are involved in. 

What are your degrees?
I'm an Upper Scioto Valley High School graduate. I have a Bachelor of Arts in math, elementary education and secondary education from Ohio Northern. And, II've taken continuing education/graduate courses at Wright State University, Rhodes State College, Ohio State University,and Bluffton University.

And you've taught how many years?
This is my 21st year teaching and my 18th at Ada.

Why are you a teacher?
The reason has changed over the years, originally I just loved math and when my high school friends would ask for help, I thought "Hey, I can make a living doing this!" 

More recently though, my focus still includes the love of math, but I have a love for my students as well. They come into my life each day, they have good days and bad days just like any of us.

My goal is that when they leave me at the end of each day I've helped improve their day somehow and made them a little bit smarter than the day before.

What motivates you?
Knowing that I can be a positive moment in each student's day whether personally, academically or both.

What’s the best thing students can do for you?
Review the vocabulary, formulas and examples provided either in the textbook, workbook, online, or in class a little bit each night. Get their work done on time. Ask questions when they are stumped. Come in before or after school if need be for extra help.  Do their best.  Be sure to check ProgressBook often.  Be kind, polite and respectful not just in my classroom but at all times and in all situations.

What’s the best thing parents and caregivers can do for you?
I know that a lot of people are frustrated with the "new" way that math is being taught, at all levels, K-12. 

The best thing that anyone can do is try to help if they can, but if they are stumped as well, encourage the student to ask their teacher for extra help.  Allow them to come a little early or stay a little late. 

I personally have explained to my daughters that they are much smarter than I was when I was their age because the way they are learning is different than the way I did. 

When my oldest was in 4th grade she learned five different ways to multiply, I only learned one in 4th grade, I had to look one of the methods up online so that I could help her.  It may have made me feel a little inept at the time, but hey, I learned something new too.

What makes Ada schools unique or different?
I have never seen a school our size offer as many curricular and extracurricular opportunities as Ada does. 

It is a great thing for our students, but also means there are choices to be made because you can't do everything. 

I can also truly say that I know from a teacher's standpoint and a parental standpoint that the students at Ada are truly cared for by their teachers.  As a teacher I know that our decisions about our classes are not only based on the state standards, but they are based on what is best for our students as well. 

As a parent, I feel very confident that my children are being pushed to do their best and improve themselves educationally, athletically, and personally each day by their teachers.

Share your best or most memorable teaching moment with us.
There are just so many...I would say the most memorable times, because I love to laugh, are when my students make me laugh.  Whether it's a funny face, or a funny comment, or just one of those moments we all have when our words get all jumbled and don't quite come out right. I also have fun being part of the teacher's Interclass video.

What excites, interests and captivates you inside the classroom?
I love having the students focus on more than just math in my classroom. I do have math lists, formulas and informational posters hanging up all around, but I also have much more.

I want them focusing on being positive, so I have inspirational quotes hanging up.  I want them focusing on their futures, so I have military information and over 100 college pennants hanging up and I request, replace and keep information on each college and branch of the military at the back of my room for students to peruse or take as needed. 

I want them to know that they matter to me after they leave, so I have pictures of former students hanging up. I want them to know that patriotism is important because of the men and women who fight for our rights, so I have active duty and veteran pictures hanging up around the flag so we can remember why we say the Pledge of Allegiance each day.

What excites, interests and captivates you outside the classroom?
My family and my faith. 

One of my favorite things is taking my girls with me to visit my parents. To quote Dorothy: "There's just no place like home."  I have such an amazing family, I couldn't have asked for a better one. I am thankful for them every day.  I also love going to Bible study, helping with the Coached by Christ kids club, and being part of the Grace Gospel Ladies Missionary Group.

All of these things along with my students, colleagues, and profession keep me striving to be a better version of me each day.

If you weren’t a teacher/teaching what would you do/be doing?
really can't imagine not being a teacher, the loss of contact with students and not being able to cheer them on or help them through those crazy teen years would just leave a hole in my heart.

But if I have to choose...I really like programming. I try to get it into my classroom as a 21st century skill that students can actually benefit from. 

The graphing calculators that are used in most school math classrooms are able to be programmed, I've written many, so I try to teach my students at least a little bit about it so they can see if it might be something that interests them…not to mention how helpful it can be in aiding them to understand formulas and get their assignments done a little bit faster.

Let's hear your favorite piece of advice to share with your students.
I share this with not only my students but anyone who needs it: When the world gets you down, it's easy to just let it keep you down.

You look around and know there's no way to change it, there's way too much. Just remember you don't have to change the whole world, just the part of the world that's yours.

You change your part of the world, I'll change my part of the world...eventually our parts of the world will overlap and we'll start seeing the changes we want to see.

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