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Mr. James Cochran » Home


I love books and I love ideas and I love sharing both with others. I go into each day with the question, "How would I want my own son or daughter to be taught?" -- and I strive to treat every student like my own. Benedict of Nursia famously said, "Always, we begin again." I'm a big believer in giving everyone a first chance and a five-hundredth chance; I'm interested in what students can do and in what students know and in helping them build toward greater ability and greater mastery, because everyone, even adults, can learn. 
I teach AP English Language, where I have two goals for every student: learn to read like a writer, and learn to write like a reader. I lead the Social Studies Department and I'm working to ensure every student at YCD leaves with an understanding of the world around them, with a critical eye for spotting challenges and a kind heart prepared to solve them. Mr. Lauricella and I are working to align the instruction of AP Macroeconomics and AP U.S. Government, and we're working with the teachers in lower grades to align with the high-level skills demanded in Advanced Placement classes. 
Without getting overly political, I’m a fan of both presidents Roosevelt (their very human faults aside). They both had visions that went far beyond their personal limitations, beyond their roles & circumstances as political leaders, beyond their own particular moments in time. FDR told us in June 1944, flush from the success of the D-Day landings,

“Our earth is but a small star in the great universe. Yet of it we can make, if we choose, a planet unvexed by war, untroubled by hunger or fear, undivided by senseless distinctions of race, color, or theory… Grant us the wisdom and the vision to comprehend the greatness of [humanity's] spirit, that suffers and endures so hugely for a goal beyond [our] own brief span…”

We are not here to win a war: we’re here to win the future, to collectively build a peace beyond anyone’s individual ability to add or detract.