Spotlight on the 1st Grade Classroom - Oct. 2019
This "Classroom Spotlight" provides a chance to meet the newest member of the St. Ann's staff, Bob Cohen-Wichner. Mr. C-W, is in his 1st year of teaching at St. Ann’s after spending the past 10 years as a full-time substitute teacher serving the communities of Stoughton, Sun Prairie, Verona, Janesville and Madison. The last 5-years have been primarily focussed in the Madison Metropolitan School District.Mr. C-W and his wife live on a 46-acre farm a few miles north of Stoughton along with their daughter and her fiance as well as horses, cats, two dogs and one sheep. Teaching definitely runs in his family as both his wife and daughter are also teachers. When asked what his favorite part about teaching is, he answered, "I think my favorite part of teaching is teh joy I see on teh children's faces when they finally understand something they've been struggling with. Whether it's a new math concept or learning new words, that 'aha' moment is always so special."
When asked to give us an idea of what is going on in the 1st grade classroom, Mr. C-W explained, “We have spent the past few weeks reviewing some of the concepts we learned in kindergarten and we are now building upon that knowledge to learn new things. We are getting new spelling words to build our vocabulary. In Math, we are working on our numbers, shapes and recognizing patterns. We are learning about communities and how rules and laws help keep those communities safe. And, we have been exploring our new science curriculum and all it has to offer.”
To learn more about Mr. Cohen-Wichner and find out something most people don’t know about him, check out his answers to a few questions we asked:
What are your favorite vacation destinations?
Some of our favorite vacation spots tend to be along the shores on both coasts - especially the places that still have wild horses! The Cumberland Islands, Assateague Island, and the Outer Banks. One of our favorite traditions is family camping. We try to get in a few days at the end of the school year and then again just before school starts. Lots of games, reading, and campfires are at the top of the list.
What do you like to do when you are not in school?
I enjoy being outside when I’m not teaching which is never difficult for me to do because there is always something to do on the farm. Being out in nature has always been a big part of my life. I always find myself re-energized after spending time outside even if it’s an afternoon of fixing fences.
What might people be surprised to learn about you?
The thing I think most people will be surprised to find out about me is that I was a professional horse trainer and coach before earning my teaching degree. My wife and I trained horses and coached riders from local level to national level competitions - that’s how I met her 33+ years ago!
How do you try to live the St. Ann's Mission?
I’ve always viewed my role as a teacher as more of a nurturing guide. I try to develop and encourage in my students a love of learning that will carry well into their adult life. I also share that all of us, adults and children, struggle in life at times and that our faith and spirituality are what help us get through these times. We need to be understanding and compassionate individuals so that we can serve our communities in whatever our missions in life may be.