Teacher Tuesday – Ms Emily Colley
As our eldest students prepare to commence their Study Leave, in advance of their A Level exams starting in May, we speak to Ms Emily Colley who teaches A Level English in this week’s Teacher Tuesday about the benefits of studying English at A Level:
How many years have you been teaching?
I have been teaching for almost five years.
When did you join KIS?
I joined KIS in August 2016.
Please describe the KIS community in three words:
Friendly, caring and supportive.
Why do you teach?
I think the best part about teaching is seeing the impact you can have on a student’s life, not just in terms of how well they do in the classroom, but also helping them develop into well rounded individuals. Of course, I also have a genuine passion for my subject and I feel incredibly lucky to be able to spend my days discussing great works of literature, whilst seeing some truly talented young writers emerge within my own classroom.
What is your favourite classroom resource and why?
To be completely honest I feel like my students are the most powerful resource I have in my classroom. A lot of our time in English is spent reflecting on social and humanitarian issues raised by the texts and poems we study. I am constantly inspired by my students’ mature, sensitive and occasionally controversial responses to complex issues. The honest and open discussions that we are able to have during lessons often leads to more nuanced and considered opinions and explanations in their writing and I am so grateful to have such a broad range of students who are so eager and willing to share their views.
How does A Level English benefit students in their future career paths?
Having an A Level in English is a huge asset for a variety of different career paths. It gives the students the confidence to be able to assert their own ideas, as well as teaching them the importance of being able to justify their arguments. This is a key skill for many professions and having the ability to analyse evidence and draw reasoned conclusions is something that many employers value. In addition to this, thanks to the range of texts and genres on our syllabus, we are equipping our students with a broader view of the world at large and enabling them to develop a deeper appreciation and understanding of the historical and social contexts behind the texts we study.
Describe a key memory from your time teaching at KIS:
I have many fond memories from my time teaching at KIS but my first day here is one that I will always remember. Although I enjoyed teaching in England, I hadn’t realised how much time and effort went into simply controlling the students and getting them to focus on what you were trying to teach them. My first two classes at KIS, with my Year 9 and 10 students, were a revelation; not only were they impeccably behaved but they were actually eager to learn! I remember watching them in awe as they enthusiastically got on with the tasks that I set them and I couldn’t stop smiling. Something that is truly special about teaching here is that over eighteen months later I still get that feeling during many of my lessons and I will always be glad that I made the choice to come here.
If you weren’t a teacher what job would you do and why?
This may be a clichéd response for an English teacher but I would love to become an author myself one day. It may be a pipe dream but teaching literature and helping my students develop their own creative writing skills is certainly good practice, if I am ever lucky enough to have the time and opportunity to write my own book.
What do you enjoy about living in KK?
I think we are very fortunate living in KK given the amount of natural beauty that surrounds us. I don’t think there are many places where you can take in a view of the sun rising over the mountains, fishing boats making their way over to tropical islands and water buffalo ambling their way across the road, all on your drive to work in the mornings.