My name is Happy Cooc and I'm the math teacher here at the main campus, Grand. I've been with Highlands since day one and it's been a pleasure to see the growth of the school all over the greater Sacramento area. Growing up I always knew I wanted to be a teacher because I enjoyed helping others, but I never thought I would be teaching math. I dreaded the subject because a lot of times it didn't make sense and growing up around the stereotype that all Asians should be good at math didn't help.
After finishing up my multiple subjects credential at UC Davis, I taught 3rd and 4th grade for two years before getting burnt out. I was eager to try a different setting, but it was during the time where their was a shortage of teaching positions available. I got desperate and took a math position at Sacramento Job Corps. Little did I know, this was going to be a opportunity that forever changed the rest of my life. At this position, I found out that a majority of my students shared the same sentiments about math as I did growing up. Being able to connect with my students on this level, allowed me to show them how math was relevant to them. The reward of working with young adults was life changing because I learned building rapport was the key to success both inside and outside the classroom.
My passion and motivation for math now comes from my students because has a different experience with math and it's my job to make it a positive one. One of the sayings I use the most often is "if it doesn't challenge you, it won't change you," because you can't expect results without pushing yourself. One of the most rewarding aspects of being a teacher is seeing that light bulb go off within your student and it's moments like these that I cherish the most.