Teacher Spotlight: Mrs. Cochran


When I went to meet Mrs. Cochran to interview her, she was giving an extra help session in her classroom. While I sat there waiting for them to finish, I couldn’t help but notice only one thing: how encouraging and helpful Mrs. Cochran is to her students.    

Mrs. Cochran teaches geometry, probability and calculus in the Hammond Upper School, and although she is new to Columbia,she has been teaching for about six years. Mrs. Cochran graduated from High Point University in North Carolina. A very fun fact about Mrs. Cochran is that she still has three baby teeth.    

I asked Mrs. Cochran about her favorite part of teaching. She said, “getting to build relationships with students and watching them grow as humans.” I loved this response because it really shows what a great person and teacher she really is. It also shows how she prioritizes building relationships with her students more than anything else.   

Mrs. Cochran wakes up at 5:00 every morning to get here around 6:30 or 7. She is normally the first Upper School teacher here every day. She arrives early to make her room a safe and positive place where her students can learn. She also comes up with fun projects for her students, like building slot machines for a study of permutations and combinations.   

Mrs. Cochran comes from a small Christian school, so there are some similarities and differences between Hammond and her old school. “They are both private schools and have tight knit communities, so it is the same in that aspect,” she said. “Hammond has a higher expectation for students and teachers which is a good thing. The facilities are better. In general, there is a greater sense of curiosity.”   

I asked Mrs. Cochran if it is weird being one of the newest teachers at Hammond this year. She said, “No, it felt like I fit in really well. It was not a hard transition. It was easy to build relationships with teachers and students, but there was definitely a learning curve coming from another school.”   

Surprisingly, she did not always plan on being a teacher and originally wanted to go physical therapy or something else related to health and fitness. But she found herself excelling in her college math classes, and someone then suggested that her natural gifts and skill sets would be a good fit for education, and she agreed. 

“I want [math] to be more attainable for people,” she said. “I want it to feel like it’s accessible and not like it’s this daunting thing.”  

When she’s not on campus, Mrs. Cochran enjoys exercising and being outdoors. As a newlywed, she especially likes to spend time with her husband, TC, taking walks in their neighborhood with their dog, a pit-boxer mix named Judah.  

Even though Mrs. Cochran is new, she has made her way into the Hammond family. She is full of love and light, which are some of the qualities that make her an incredible teacher. As a community, we should be glad to have her.