Teacher Tuesday – Mrs Frances Colbeck
Following last week’s successful Book Week, in our Teacher Tuesday post we speak to Mrs Frances Colbeck. As Teacher Librarian, Mrs Colbeck was one of the main organisers of Book Week. Find out more about her work in the Library and why the school puts such value on reading:
How many years have you been teaching?
13 (I just had to work this out on a piece of paper!)
When did you join KIS?
How would you describe the KIS community?
What I like about KIS is that although everybody is always working very hard, we are all driven by the same goals, and that means when we ask for help, it’s always available- whether it’s a student helping me to carry a set of textbooks, or a colleague offering some ideas to solving a problem, or a parent supporting an event.
What is the most rewarding part of being a teacher?
Hopefully, results day, when all the hard work is rewarded with excellent IGCSE and A Level results. Then you know that even the tough days when we were all tired, or tasks seemed impossibly hard, or the homework too difficult; it all gets paid back when you look at the slip of paper and know your students received the well-earned, hard-won grades they deserved.
How do you plan to integrate technology into your teaching of library skills?
Next term we will be creating a whole school scheme of work on information literacy, with ideas for integrating this into the curriculum. Now we live in an age where access to information has never been so easy, or so freely available, and the internet has changed the way we research completely. This means it is more important than ever that we teach students how to read and verify the reliability of all these information sources, to help them sort fact from fiction, so they can build an accurate picture of the world around them. Naturally, technology plays an vital part in this, and to this end we aim to utilise the new ipads in Primary, and the new laptops in Secondary to help teach these skills .
Last week we celebrated Book Week, what was your favourite part of the week and why?
It’s difficult to choose! On the one hand, it’s such a luxury to get to just sit and read, with no distractions, but there’s also the more active events like the character parade and pajama day- I think it’s wonderful to see how much time and effort goes into each costume- I spent the whole of Friday being amazed by the variety of outfits and creativity on show.
Why does the school place so much importance on the love of reading?
I think it’s the access to other worlds or realities that reading grants us that is so important: I will never be able to travel back in time to 531 AD to speak to Lao Tze, or chat with Empress Matilda in the 12th Century- but I can read their words, and understand their motives and emotions. Similarly, I love to travel, but I don’t have to move an inch to be transported by a book to faraway places- or even better, places that only exist in books! Even if people don’t like to read fiction, reading is the most fundamental way of accessing information, whether it’s in a book, or an online article, and if we want to understand the world around us, reading is a key to help us unlock that understanding.
If you could be a character from folklore or a fairy tale who would you be and why?
I think it would be more fun to be a villain or a monster than a princess- I have always felt that the Big Bad Wolf was particularly misunderstood…
Tell us a little known fact about you:
Up until the age of 17, I thought I would be a professional ‘cellist.