My Memories at Education Update
I began writing for Education Update in the fall of 1996. As a young and enthusiastic journalist, I was eager to get started. Even though I had just completed a Masters degree in Movement Sciences from Teachers College, Columbia University – it was my one class in sports journalism from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism that really had me excited. My first story for the paper was a 5th grade girls’ soccer game and from there I was even more hooked then I had realized. For the next 6 years I wrote two stories a month for the paper. While it was sports I set out to cover, Education Update and Dr. Pola Rosen encouraged me to expand my range as a reporter. My biggest piece was a cover story in April 2001 on Edward F. Stancik, Special Commissioner of Investigator (CSI) for the New York City School District. He died within a year of the story being published. As my own career branched off into special education, I began writing about topics in special education, culminating with another Education Update cover story, The Future of Special Education published in December 2001. I filled stories from Green Bay, Wi., where I was on the field during Packer training camp, traveled with New York’s Rice High School for a basketball tournament in Portland Oregon, and even had two stories from Las Vegas. I made it to Tampa for Yankees spring training and covered countless college and pro basketball games from Madison Square Garden.
As I began to establish the groundwork for a company in New York City, Throwback Sports, which specializes in coordination training for children in one-on-one and small group settings, I realized just how vital the journalism skills I learned at Education Update were in helping me in every aspect of this endeavor including individuals defying the odds in the face of difficult obstacles and the fascinating people I had met in all the stories I had written. What journalism and my experience at Education Update taught me most importantly was a method of thinking and the most effective way to communicate. In dealing with parents, teachers, school administrators, coaches, and the children in Throwback Sports on a daily basis my goal is to always be respectful, concise, and organized, just as it was when I was working on a story. I am often asked to write reports on the children and do so as though it is a profile on a famous coach.
Without the background of working in journalism and at Education Update I would not have had the confidence or skills to turn my visions into a reality. Starting a company from scratch is not an easy task. But, when you approach it like a story and it’s put together one step at a time- it begins to take on the shape of, what else, a well written and thoroughly reported piece. #
Since 2001, Mike Cohen is the founder and director of Throwback Sports, a one-on-one and small group sports program for children. Mike has Master’s degrees in Movement Sciences from Teachers College, Columbia University and in Special Education from NYU.