One of the things that makes Cotting unique is the sense of belonging students feel. They are free to try new things in a safe environment, supported by their peers and teachers and therapists, to learn what works best for them as they strive to meet their goals. Cotting students have to overcome so many challenges – physical, cognitive, and others- that they work harder than any other students I’ve taught
At Cotting I can be a truly creative teacher; I can try something new with my curriculum to see if it works for my students- and the next day I can try it another way with the same content to see if that works better for learning. If there is anything a student or a teacher needs, the whole community makes it possible and accessible. Everyone works together to find a solution when you encounter a problem. Teachers’ work and expertise are valued and so are our students’ abilities. Teachers are fully supported by peers, therapists and supervisors in a way that is unlike other schools.
We expect a lot from our students: physical demands, social demands. They have at least 3x as many things to do as their siblings do when they get home after school: doctor appointments, social groups, activities of daily living. In many cases they have to learn how to access the technology that they use to do their classwork, homework, or even to communicate. They work incredibly hard to learn to use those tools to access the materials before they even start the assignment. Cotting’s community becomes really important for both students and teachers. I never feel I am working alone—ever. There are so many people to work and collaborate with.
As a teacher, as long as you are willing to learn more, there is the possibility to learn more. We have choices to follow our professional interested and learn what is truly relevant for us and our students… right now. When we learn new things, we are able to use them in the classroom almost immediately. Our administrators work with us in our classrooms every week to do hands-on work, observe and get to know our students. I think our students, teachers, and therapists work harder than those in many other schools. We are constantly learning from each other all the time, and we are truly are a team, working together every single day for the benefit of our students.
Teaching at Cotting, I have the ability to watch students learn. I give them an imaginary problem that is actually fairly abstract and then watch as they interact together, find a solution, and solve it. I love it when they realize they’ve “got” it. That moment is confidence-building for them and thrilling for me.
Cotting made me aware of how many other people have disabilities besides just myself. It had an atmosphere that made me want to conquer the problems and seize the possibilities of life in the outside world.
I contracted polio at age 3 when living in Revere. In 4th and 5th grades at Cotting, my teacher was Louise Harriet Marr. Miss Marr was an enormously worthy person who gave me an education and a background.
I was an English major and political science minor; I started what became the Top Forty in Los Angeles with six other DJs; I’ve written two books; I’ve done a lot in my life. What got me the strength, the courage, and the ability to go ahead was Cotting School.
Cotting School has been an incredible place for our daughter, allowing her to flourish in a caring, supportive, and challenging environment. Teachers and staff are incredibly dedicated and are always finding creative ways to tap into her potential both in the classroom and during after school activities that allow for social growth. She is always so proud to share exciting stories about her day with our whole family.”
Cotting School has allowed our son to grow in many areas of his life, including his academics and his social and emotional needs. Having him here has also made a difference for our family since his twin brother has learned that he is not the only person with a brother who has special needs. My sons have a better relationship, and our whole family is happier.