Coffey Reflects on His 27 Years at Brookfield East

Coffey Reflects on His 27 Years at Brookfield East

Joshitha Senthil

Teachers. Where would we be without them? Teachers are the very foundation of our transition from childhood to adulthood. They are the sculptors that mold our young, impressionable minds into the leaders of the future. Brookfield East is fortunate to have teachers that pour their heart and soul into teaching. One such teacher, Mr. Coffey, has been with us for 27 years and has many riveting stories and lessons to share. 

When asked about the difference between East 27 years ago and now, he fondly reminisced on how all of the teachers learned how to use the internet, “Thirteen teachers sitting in a room watching one computer screen… and we used a phone line modem, and it took 90 seconds for an image to appear, and it was so slow compared to now and everyone is looking around because they’re super excited, it’s really funny to see changes like that in my career.” 

Technology is not the only thing that has dramatically shifted over the years. When it comes to the environment and culture of East, Coffey stated, “The environment has really improved over the years because people are being more respectful to each other.” He elaborated by saying “Back in the day, bullying was a real thing and people weren’t treated nice, but it’s an anomaly from today, which is what I love about our school.” 

Throughout his years at East, Coffey and his teaching helped make a difference in the lives of many students. When asked about such a notable moment, he shared, “One of my favorite memories is when a student did a project on the Vietnam War and interviewed her father [who fought in the war] and the very first time he talked about his experience and opened up was to his daughter, which was a really emotional and memorable experience for me and them.” 

Mr. Coffey truly loves teaching and it is discernible from his answers. Like every other kid, he had other career paths lined up for him too and wasn’t sure what he wanted to do until he had a great social studies teacher when he was 17. Coffey explained, “He could have taught a class called ‘Watching the paint dry’ and people would have lined up to take it.” This teacher made Coffey realize that teaching would be a great job for him. Coffey furthers “ I tried to explore other fields but I always kept falling back to History, because that’s where my passion lies.” 

To wrap it all up, he shared a few pearls of wisdom for the students of East and the future generations. “I’m a huge believer of civil discourse and speaking with respect to each other, but also being open-minded and viewing things from a different perspective.” Coffey’s aphorism was to “not be quick to judge and instead take the time to understand… and not let external factors dominate the narrative.” 

Coffey’s stories put a lot of emphasis on how Brookfield East has a respectful, supportive, nurturing environment and remind us to continue to uphold that with our wonderful staff and student body.


For more stories about the Brookfield East staff throughout history and today, read the Spartan Banner Fall 2021 Print Edition being released on November 23rd, 2021.