Cookie Craze!

Walking through the hallways of Ipswich High School, you may see students with cookies in their hands, as well as a wide smile on their face. You may hear the rumblings of “Ms. Barclay made cookies,” and gasps as you watch as students pick up the pace, headed for Upper B pod to secure their tasty treat. The days that Ms. Barclay brings in cookies is like a holiday in Ipswich High School. Word spreads fast, and the cookies go even faster. So, if you want to secure your cookie, you have to make sure you act fast. 

Standing in Ms. Barclay’s room, you will most likely see her chatting with a group of students, getting to know them outside of their academics. “I believe that this builds a better relationship between my students and me,” Mrs Barclay, the Anatomy, Chemistry, Marine and Coastal, and prior health teacher at IHS says. “It puts me in more of a personal role; they see me as a baker as well as a teacher.” Through her baked goods, Ms. Barclay believes she is showing her students how much she cares about them.

This care that is shared through her baked goods is exhibited and proven through the positive learning environment that exudes from her classroom. After passing in a test or a quiz, most likely one will hear Ms. Barclay say, “You did it! Grab a cookie!” According to the National Library of Medicine, we found that food fulfills a comforting role even in highly distressing situations where food ceases to have any nutritional value. This is definitely demonstrated by Ms. Barclay and her cookies. The support in the form of cookies can make even the hardest test, quiz, or day even just a little bit better. Many students look forward to these days, and the smallest gesture could put a smile on their face. For Ms. Barclay, one thing she would like to highlight is that the cookies are not a reward. “They are given to anyone who asks,” she says. There are times when students she doesn’t currently have swoop into her room to grab a delicious treat. 

Ms. Barclay has been baking for a long time. When asked where she learned to bake, she said, “My Aunt Halle taught me when she babysat me; she was always baking and I always used to watch her bake, and eventually she let me bake with her.” This bonding time with her aunt made baking have a special place in Ms. Barclay’s heart. Not only does she bake for her students, she also bakes for herself. “ I bake when I’m happy and especially when I’m stressed,” she says. Baking has played a large role in her life and is a weekly activity for Ms. Barclay. She will constantly come into class and talk about her baking excursions from the day, night, or weekend before. 

The support, encouragement and kindness that is displayed by Ms. Barclay has helped students in her class flourish. She always has a smile on her face, and even when she’s stressed, upset, or angry, you would never know it. Her baking has helped her and her students do well last school year, this school year, and many school years to come. And to Ms. Barclay, thank you for your kindness, support, and amazing cookies!