2018-02-22 / News

TA Teacher of the Year announced

A few moments is all the time necessary to understand why Jason Cote was announced as Teacher of the Year for Thornton Academy in 2018. His intelligence, perceptiveness, dedication and teaching skills become apparent nearly instantly upon entering his classroom.

Cote teaches in the history department and this year his courses include “Peoples and World Cultures” for freshmen and “Modern China” for sophomores. He conducts weekly original research to stay fresh in his field and share new information with his students. He teaches students critical thinking skills that they need to analyze data, patterns, and news articles.

“In the days of having a supercomputer in your pocket, there is greater value in methodology and less on rote memorization,” said Cote about his teaching philosophy.

Cote was inspired to go into teaching by his grandfather, Robert Dumas, a long-time math teacher at Biddeford High School. He describes how on walks through town with his grandfather people would constantly stop them to express admiration, respect and thanks.

“He taught me to ask myself, ‘How do I contribute to my community? How can I change the future in my own small way?’” Cote says as he reflects on the legacy left to him by his grandfather.

As part of his teacher training, Cote student-taught at Sanford High School with Martin McKeon and Doug Spaulding. He has great admiration for these two teachers who taught him to create a classroom with varied teaching styles to appeal to many different students. In his history classroom, Cote springs between teacher-driven direct instruction and student-centered cooperative learning easily and frequently.

Students appreciate Cote’s dedication to the craft of teaching and the value that he places on his students and what they bring to the classroom.

“Mr. Cote is an amazing teacher with a diverse teaching style. He is considerate and truly cares about the success of his students. You can tell from one class with Mr. Cote that teaching isn’t just a job for him, it’s his livelihood. Mr. Cote’s search for further excellence and knowledge has truly inspired me and has forever made my TA experience memorable. I couldn’t see a better individual being chosen to receive this award,” said sophomore Christina Casvikes.

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