School Days, Reminiscences of Kevin Cooper

Welcome to the School Days, Reminiscences series in which my author and blogger friends share reminiscences of their school days.

This week, I am pleased to introduce Kevin Cooper, author, songwriter and blogger. Kevin took a keen interest in the reminiscences previously shared by others and I am delighted that he agreed to share his own.

Before we begin the interview, I’ll allow Kevin to tell you a little of himself:

Kevin Cooper is an Author & Songwriter. After years of studying, and even more, years working in education, and management in the US, he returned to his hometown in England where he finally settled down to focus on his writing and music. He has since authored several works and recorded/released his first full music album.

Kevin Cooper obtained an M.Ed in Secondary Education at Grand Canyon University.  He also did some post-graduate studies in Christian Counselling and Psychopathology at Asbury Theological Seminary. He completed his baccalaureate studies in Psychology with a minor in Classical Greek from Asbury College after devoting his first two years to studying Music Composition, and Religion at Western Kentucky University.

Welcome, Kevin.

Let’s talk school. First, could you tell us where you attended school?

I went to school in England and left high school at 16 years of age with only three CSE’s. (Now called GCSE’s) After I turned 21, I emigrated to the USA and started studying again.

Did you attend a government, private or independent school?

In England, all the schools I attended were government schools which were very much under the influence of the ‘social class’ system back then. I also attended a state school in Kentucky after moving to the US and studied for GED to pave my way into university. I attended one state university: WKU for two years and then transferred to Asbury College. After graduating, I attended Asbury Theological Seminary for two years before moving again and enrolling in The Grand Canyon University where I received a fellowship.

What is the highest level of education you achieved?

M.Ed in Secondary Education. My teaching subject is English.

What work or profession did you choose after school and was there anything in school that influenced this choice?

I started out as a class tutor after being approached by a couple of professors. Later I did some private tutoring and substitute teaching. I obtained a part-time position as a music teacher for a short while then went into management for a Fortune 500 company and also obtained a part-time lecturer position for general studies. While I look back upon my years as an educator with fondness, I never set out, nor intended to become an educator. My passion was to become a clinical psychologist, but I allowed myself to be steered away from it.

What is your earliest memory of school?

Singing, All Things Bright and Beautiful in assembly at Marfleet Primary School. I loved the song from the first time I heard it and learned it quickly as it resonated with me as I played in my grandma’s gardens.

What memories do you have of learning to read?

Reading Dick and Jane books with Spot the dog.

What memories do you have of learning to write?

Graduating from printing words to joining the letters of the alphabet while writing. I found it intriguing.

What do you remember about math classes?

I hated math. The only time I enjoyed it was when we were given a project to take note of the different kinds of vehicles that passed us on the road and create a chart.

What was your favourite subject?

Kevin Cooper school days reminiscences

 History. I became entranced with the stories of inventors. Especially those like George Stephenson who were from poor families and told they would never amount to anything as a child.

What did you like best about school?

As a child, getting away from home. As an adult, I couldn’t get enough of learning new things.

What did you like least about school?

Kevin Cooper school days reminiscences

As a child, being bullied even though upon reflection this was short-lived for me because I began to fight back after a while. Even so, it still had a profound influence on my mental state which was already a mess from being part of a dysfunctional family. As an adult, studying for exams. I loved research projects and writing term papers, but hated standardised exams with multiple choice and true/false questions.

How do you think schools have changed since your school days?

I think here in England there is more equality and less of a social class stigma these days. Although looking upon it almost as an outsider having lived in the USA the good part of 20 years, I could be mistaken.

What do you think schools (in general) do well?

I think schools follow curricula activities very well, unfortunately, these are not always mandated by the schools.

How do you think schools could be improved?

Kevin Cooper school days reminiscences

First, there needs to be a far larger budget for schools in England. Class sizes need to be reduced and all teachers should have at least one assistant.

There needs to be some kind of weekly after-school mandate for parents and teachers to educate and address current/ongoing issues that affect learning.  Schools should have specially assigned social workers in the schools that teachers can go to for advice and support as they are not equipped to deal with some issues. Schools also need to have a school psychologist on site.

thank you for your participation

Thank you for sharing your reminiscences of school and thoughts about education in general, Kevin. I agree with your thoughts about the budget for education, class sizes and assistants for teachers. It’s been wonderful to have you here. I’m sure others have enjoyed learning about you as much as I have.

Find out more about Kevin Cooper

On his blog:

https://authorkevincooper.com/

On his author page:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/-/e/B00EWFEYKQ

Connect with him on social media

https://www.facebook.com/authorkevcooper

https://twitter.com/KevinCo34737852

Purchase Kevin’s Books:

https://authorkevincooper.com/my-books/

https://www.amazon.co.uk/-/e/B00EWFEYKQ

Purchase Kevin’s Music:

https://authorkevincooper.com/my-music/

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCf2xhbZpatTr4NwhxZwWN7Q

https://soundcloud.com/user-17880724

School Days, Reminiscences of the first 25

If you missed previous reminiscences, check them out here: School Days Reminiscences – the first 25.

You can also read some data drawn from the posts here, and some suggestions for how schools could be improved, as suggested by the contributors, here.

Any new interviews will be posted here on a Sunday evening AEST as they are received.

Thank you blog post

Thank you for reading. I appreciate your comments. Please share your thoughts.

 

68 thoughts on “School Days, Reminiscences of Kevin Cooper

  1. Mae Clair

    What a fabulous interview. It’;s interesting looking back on our school years. Kev, you have such an intriguing background! I had to grin when you mentioned Dick, Jane, and Spot. I’d forgotten about those early readers but they were fun. Like you, I never cared for math (though I loved science). My appreciation of history didn’t come until later years when I started learning about the people as opposed to the event. That made all the difference.

    I really enjoyed reading this interview!

    Like

    Reply
  2. Susan Scott

    Imagine smaller classes and each teacher having an assistant – I can see education blossoming and taking off like a rocket! Thanks Keith I enjoyed your interview with the notable Norah and reading about your experience of school both in the UK & US. I reckon most families are normally dysfunctional – i wonder sometimes if that dysfunction, if not too severe, is not the very thing that motivates us at an unconscious level, to do better, later on a conscious level. Thank you both.

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply
  3. roughwighting

    Norah, what a service you give us bloggers and writers. These author reminisces are so relevant and insightful and SMART. Kevin, so great to get to know you more here as you answer Norah’s questions. Hmmm, another writer who hated math. Who here is surprised? I wish I’d enjoyed history more when I was attending school. I found it boring back then (and granted, the teachers lectured in a boring fashion). Now I’m fascinated with history. Based on Kevin’s comments, I think about how interesting history could have been when I was in school if parents assisted and told their own stories of the past (many dads had fought in WWII, and granddads had fought in WWI, and the women worked at home and changed the world).
    Lastly, I love that my grandchildren’s teachers ask me to come to the classroom and read my children’s books and then talk about what it means to be a writer, and how important reading is. The kids really listen to me as if I’m ‘someone special,’ and the teachers love my message.

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply
    1. Norah Post author

      Thanks for your lovely response to Kevin’s reminiscences, Pam. I agree with you about history. I found it boring. Had it been about the people rather than the dates, I think I would have enjoyed it more too.
      I am thrilled that you get to read your stories to classes of children. I’d love to sit in on a session one day. 💖

      Liked by 2 people

      Reply
    2. kevin cooper

      Thanks, Pam. Yes, there is much we could have learned from our parents and grandparents. When I volunteered as a reading mentor for children in a library many years ago. It’s a lovely thing to see their eyes sparkle. 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

      Reply
  4. Charli Mills

    Kevin has had an interesting education both in the UK and the US. I like his idea of having assistance in the classroom and social workers that the teachers can access. It seems we ask teachers to be too much beyond their role of teaching.

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply
  5. petespringerauthor

    I’m so glad to see another interview today, Norah. I was afraid you had run out of interviewees. I would be interested in hearing Kevin’s experiences with music at school. I wonder if his love for music came naturally, or he came across someone either inside or outside of school who turned him on to music.

    I like his ideas about class size, assistants in the classroom, and social workers to help address the problems children and families face.

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply
    1. Norah Post author

      Those are interesting musing about Kevin’s interest in music, Pete. Perhaps he’ll let us know.
      I agree with your affirmation of Kevin’s suggestions for school.
      There are no more posts scheduled at the moment, Pete, although a few more bloggers have said they would like to share. I will post any more interviews as they come in.

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
        1. kevin cooper

          I managed it to get my GED and again to pass the maths part of the university entrance exam, but it was a huge struggle for me. My overall score would have been much higher had it not been for the math. 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

          Reply
  6. Bette A. Stevens

    Fascinating interview, Norah and Kevin! Kevin, I thoroughly enjoyed learning so much more about you and your school days. As retired teacher, I believe your ideas on improving schools are just what our society need today. Thanks so much for sharing! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply
    1. kevin cooper

      Thanks, Jacqui. I agree… Parents can be such a great resource if schools would have the courage to take the first steps. I’m sure there are many parents who would be delighted with such a prospect.

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
  7. robbiesinspiration

    How lovely to find Kevin Cooper here, Norah, and learn about his school days. I thought most teachers in the UK did have class assistants, but maybe that is only for the young grades. Sometimes life leads us in the best direction so maybe Kevin was meant to be an educator. I wanted to be a lawyer but ended up a chartered accountant.

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply
    1. Norah Post author

      It is funny where life leads us, Robbie. You are not only a chartered accountant. You are also a writer and an illustrator, and you write in a variety of genres. Not everyone can say that.

      Liked by 2 people

      Reply
        1. Norah Post author

          Yes, another talent, Robbie. Enjoy. I’m going to the launch of a Spooktacular book this coming weekend. Yesterday, I realised that people are dressing up. I won’t have time to make a costume. I’ll have to look for something to wear. 🙂

          Liked by 2 people

          Reply
    2. kevin cooper

      In the real world, very few people end up becoming what they dream of or train for. That’s something they don’t prepare you for in any school or university. Thanks for your kind comment, Robbie. 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

      Reply
        1. robbiesinspiration

          I think the things I learned in school have been very useful to me, Norah. I gained a love of English and history from school and learned how to do maths and accountancy. Even my second language of Afrikaans has proved useful. Science has helped me with baking.

          Liked by 1 person

          Reply
          1. Norah Post author

            Thank you, Robbie. I’m pleased school helped you in all those ways. It is beneficial for some after all. (I am being rather cheeky. 😂)

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