Friday, October 31, 2008

Spotlight on Mr. Soper

Mr. Sheldon Soper

Teacher of Grade 3

Evergreen Avenue Elementary School


Sheldon Soper

College(s) and degrees(s):
Ithaca College/Rutgers University - BA History
Rutgers University Graduate School of Education - M Ed. Elementary Education with 6-8 Social Studies concentration

• Work experience:
4 years as a 4th grade inclusion classroom assistant in New Brunswick, NJ

• Favorite books
o fiction: The Mezzanine by Nicholson Baker
o nonfiction: Blink by Malcolm Gladwell

• Favorite television show:
The West Wing

• Last movie I loved:
The King of Kong

• Music CD that I have almost worn out from repeated playing:
The Black Crowes - Darlings of the Underground Press

• Person (living or not) that I’d like to have lunch with and why:
Larry Bird - "Larry Legend" is the consummate example of how hard work and the philosophy of being the first to practice and last to leave can overcome one not being the strongest or the fastest. His success demonstrates the power of will, determination, and an innate competitive fire to be the best one can be can make the impossible a reality (Plus the '86 Celtics season was my first real sports memory growing up).

• Visiting this place makes me peaceful:
Geneva Point Center on Lake Winnipesaukee in New Hampshire

• One item on my “to do” list that I can’t seem to get to:
Finish writing/recording my goal of 12 songs (been stuck at 5 for quite a while).

• Favorite animal (domestic or wild):

• Favorite sports team:
The Boston Celtics

• Destination of my fantasy vacation trip:
The Mediterranean

• Details about the teacher I will never forget who inspired me to enter the profession:
Mr. Morrow - 4th Grade - Cranberry Pines Elementary School

Mr. Morrow was my first male teacher growing up. He had this innate ability to draw out our personalities and energy in a way I had never experienced before. We all were part of his team in that classroom, and as a result, we were able to accomplish some truly amazing things as 9 and 10 year olds that we likely could not have as individuals.

Additionally, Mr. Morrow was the first teacher I had who really integrated technology into the classroom as a powerful tool. We had no science text; instead he used fill-in-the-blank notes and laser discs to bring the content alive and push our understanding. The detailed and complicated things I learned in that science period carried me through science in high school and college.

Last year I had the opportunity to substitute for his class for a period of time while he battled bronchitis. At the end of the nearly two weeks, one of his students said, "Mr. Soper, you do that just like Mr. Morrow!" That was one of the best compliments I have ever received from a student. I simply replied, "Where do you think I learned it?"

1 comment:

Deneen said...

I have to brag on Mr. Soper. My niece is in his class this year, and his teaching style has made her enjoy school again. She was apprehensive about having a "boy" teacher, but he is the best thing that has happened to her education.