The depths of Ms.Colombo as a teacher.


Grace Mboumba, Contributor

Anita Colombo, an English teacher at Tuscarora High School was able to offer  some of her time to answer a few questions I had about her. Her oozing confidence and echoing lively laugh, along with her bright and charismatic personality might charm you within a minute. 

On Wednesday around 10 am we sat together, away from her FLEX students to have a conversation about her and literature overall. 

“How does literature play an important role in your life?” I asked her 

“Literature and writing are my passions, and if I’m not grading at home I’m reading and writing on my own. And attending poetry readings and art displays, things like that.” 

We both share an enthusiasm for liberal arts, and she finds her purpose is to soly teach English. As a non-native speaker, I found English at first to be confusing and complex. With one word meaning different things, or with many words having one meaning. Throughout the years, the more I learned the more my love for English flourished. Something that I’ve shared with many, mostly through poetry. 

I asked her what else she would be open to teach other than literature. She answered my question with a bright smile, and a glow in her eyes with , “There’s nothing I’d rather teach besides English.” In her class you can tell how passionate she is about her job, therefore very comfortable in a classroom setting. Her body language and down to earth personality speak for volumes. Class conversations are very common and cherished by everyone. From her failed attempt at a banana bread when she was a young adult, to discussing different social media figures. 

To me because she’s an AP teacher, she can come off as very rigorous and stern. The first few days in her classroom to me felt like a battlefield. Who will be the last one standing by next week? Who will drop the class by next week? A new curriculum to learn and new rules to follow oftentimes can feel overwhelming. An AP course is no different, because the first two weeks are always hectic.

“Do you find a more rigorous or relaxed environment to be beneficial to the learning process of your students?” I asked, curious to know what her answer would be 

“I think that you can have a rigorous environment in which the students feel comfortable and relaxed. And have high standards but also support them in reaching their goals.” She answered

In which I completely agree, balance is key especially when it comes to an advanced course. Balance and time management, because procrastination will never be your friend. With a second book to read by the 4th week of her class, I’ve already learned not to wait till the last minute. Our second read titled Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton was handed out at the start of this week, and will be due by next Tuesday. 

Further into our conversation she told me, “I just love my job, I wouldn’t want to do anything else anywhere else!!” She told me about how she considered a psychology major but went into English, she herself would’ve never thought she’d teach in her life. That is until she taught a college class for the first time and it all clicked. 

I look at Ms.Colombo with a lot more than just admiration. She’s passionate about what she does, she has been for a very long time. It’s very inspiring because it tells me whether I feel it  as of now or not. There’s something I’ll find to do for a living and cherish it for a pleasant time.