"I love teaching, I've really found what I was supposed to do," says Charles Cooper. He says everyday he looks forward to coming to the Auburn Early Education Center (AEEC). That's where nearly 400 kindergartners come to him daily for physical education.
AEEC principal, Dr. Lilli Land says "while they're (his students) there he provides opportunities for them to engage in activities that emphasize such things as local motor skills; like hopping, skipping, running, jumping. He also works on fine motor skills."
This week Cooper is getting students ready for the annual holiday program. His phys ed area is loaded with words that he uses to build reading skills. He underwent Alabama Reading Initiative training with the other teachers here and uses his time with the students productively.
"We do so much more than just play. We teach them the skills, the sports skills and fitness and health and concepts. Social interaction, behavior with kids. We give them a chance to work with other kids and show them how we're supposed to interact with other kids," says Cooper.
At the start of each year he identifies kids with below normal motor skills and they get extra help. Cooper is pursuing a master's degree, helps teachers update their web pages on the school's internet site and is an assistant softball coach at Auburn High.