Meet Mr. Cockrill

Why did you decide to become a teacher?

My parents were both teachers, so my entire family has always been dedicated to education. When I was in college, it just seemed like going into the “family business” was a natural choice. I also had an excellent English teacher at Warren High (Mr. Allgood) he was quite an inspiration as well.

Where did you go to college?

I went to Cal State Fullerton and earned my B.A. in English, and then I received my Teaching Credential from Long Beach State.

What personal strengths do you find especially helpful in your teachings?

I think my greatest personal strength is my ability to connect with people, in particular kids. I often do this through my sense of humor- I like to make learning both fun and entertaining.

What is your proudest accomplishment?

Without any question, my proudest accomplishment is being the father of a great young man- my son Christopher- he’s 28 years old, and a very fine young man. Professionally, I’m extremely proud of teaching at the same middle school – Griffiths- for 31 years ( ever since I was 25.)

What five adjectives best describe you?

I’ll go with these: Funny, Adventurous, Creative, Sensitive, and Fair.

If you weren’t a teacher what would you want to be?

If I wasn’t a teacher, I’d love to be a writer for a comedy series- I’d love to sit around and discuss funny and creative ideas with others and then watch them come to life on camera. It would also be cool to host a show on the radio.

What is something that students or most people don’t know about you?

I think that a lot of people don’t know that I’m sensitive. Sometimes, the challenging thing about having a sense of humor and being silly, is that some people simply assume that I’m thick-skinned and nothing bothers me. However, not that true- I’m quite sensitive, and that may not be easy for others to notice.

What are your hobbies?

I love to surf, play guitar, cook, travel, write, read, workout, and jog/walk, on the beach regularly.

What is your most embarrassing moment as a teacher?

My first year teaching at Griffiths, I was being observed for my “FINAL evaluation”. My lesson was going perfectly; however, two teachers (Mrs. Taylor) ran into my room through both doors and kissed me on both sides of my cheeks (it was Valentine’s Day)- in front of all the students AND my principal… the teachers didn’t know I was being observed. It turned out that my principle absolutely LOVED it – she really liked the fact that her staff could have a  fun time with each other, and she thought it was healthy for the students to see that.

What is a piece of advice you would give your students?

I think my main piece of advice would be to seek to surround yourself with good, kind people. Keep your man focus on being kind and helping others- its the best way to feel good! So often we seek to feel good by getting things for ourselves; however a true good feeling comes from being of service to others. That, and also to laugh often- especially at yourself.