“I got sick of working at a bookstore in New York City so I decided to become a teacher and just kinda go all in on it.”


Katherine Cooke and Melanie Martinez are at AJCMS in her classroom.

Interview Audio

Katherine Cooke is an English and drama teacher at Animo Jefferson Charter Middle School. She went to college in New York City at New York University and had a double major.


She wanted to become a teacher because growing up her family were also teachers so it had impacted her to also be one. 


By going to New York City to study for college, it was difficult and something new she experienced. She even had the chance to travel to England to study for a couple months for her major. Overall, she had a good experience studying at New York University. 


Katherine has been teaching for about two years at AJCMS. By teaching at AJCMS, it has had a positive impact on her. She has learned patience and also has learned to embrace herself more.



Katherine Cooke : My name is Catherine Cooke. I am an English and drama teacher at Animo Jefferson Middle School. Uhm, I teach sixth grade.


Melanie Martinez : Okay. So uh today I wanna interview you about college and how your college experience was and how it impacted you, um growing up.


KC : Awesome. 


MM : And Ms. Cooke has um, Ms. Cooke has impacted me because I think I wanna go to college and it inspires me to go to college. Okay so uh, what college did you go to?


KC : I went to New York University in New York City. Um, and I got a double major in theater through the [inaudible] drama program and English through their regular college and sciences. 


MM : Oh, how did you know you wanted to become a teacher?


KC : Um, my family is actually full of teachers. My dad was a teacher for a long time. My grandma was a teacher before. Um, my mom taught riding lessons with horses for a long time. 


MM : Oh.


KC : So it’s sorta in the family and it’s something I always thought about doing. Um, but I didn’t wanna be like the rest of my family so I tried to do other things. Uhm, but it kinda seemed like every time I was trying to do something else, I ended up having some sort of teaching happening. Like I ended up being a teacher no matter where I was or what I was doing. Um, so I got sick of working at a bookstore in New York City [laughter], so I decided to become a teacher and just kinda go all in on it. 


MM : Um, like what have you learned at at being a teacher or what have you learned about being a teacher at AJCMS?


KC : Umm. I think I’ve gotten to really practice patience.


MM : Uh hum.


KC : Which is always good thing.


MM : Yeah, with kids. 


KC : With kids. 


KC : Um I, before being here,I worked mainly with older kids and you don’t have to have quite as much patience with older kids. 


MM : Yeah, it’s something new for you.


KC : Exactly. This was a little bit new for me. Um, but I really couldn’t be happier. I feel like um you guys have taught me patience. You’ve taught me to find the fun and the joy in kind of everything. Because you’re all so uhm like willing to take risks and uh to be yourselves, which is something I definitely didn’t do when I was in middle school or uhm even after middle school. So I feel like you guys have kinda been an inspiration to me to sorta embrace who I am and what I wanna do.


MM : Uh okay. Oh, how long have you been teaching for?


KC : This is secret secret, my second, well second year in middle school.Then I taught for a year in high school. 


MM : Oh yeah.


KC : And then I did some teaching during like summer camps and stuff before that.


MM : Why did you decide to come here, to AJCMS?


KC : I actually, so I came out here, it’s super far from where I live um but I did the drive. And then I parked outside and I was trying to get into the building and I couldn’t figure out how. [laughter]