Five minutes with … | PostIndependent.com

Five minutes with …

Post Independent Writer

Francie JacoberFrancie Jacober’s first teaching experience was in a one-room school house in Archuleta County, the seat of which is Pagosa Springs. A rancher and a midwife, Jacober started the one-room Chimney Rock School because she thought the other school, which was an hour away from her house, was too impersonal. Jacober has also taught in St. Louis and Aspen.E-mail address: jacober@sopris.netAge: 57School, grade and subject: Carbondale Community School; seventh- and eighth-grade math, science, literature, Spanish, art, outdoor educationFamily information: divorced with four kids: Rio, 29, married to Robin, who teaches at Basalt Middle School – they have a son, Wilder, age 15 months, and another on the way; Tai, 27; Sierra, 25; Forest, 21.Teaching experience: began a one-room school in Archuleta County, where we were ranching. Was director and teacher at the school from 1982-88. Moved to St. Louis for five years and taught there. Then taught at Aspen Country Day for five years. This is my seventh year at Carbondale Community School. So I have taught for 23 years.Why are you a teacher? If you worked in another profession before teaching, why did you change? I was a rancher and a midwife. However, when it was time for my children to attend school, we were an hour’s bus ride from Pagosa Springs. And the school seemed large and impersonal. So I started the one-room Chimney Rock School. That was the beginning. I loved teaching and still do.What do you like most about teaching? The students, the constant intellectual stimulation, the perpetual re-examination of beliefs, methods, approaches, content, etc. My colleagues!What do you do in your free time? I love to be outside for almost any reason – skiing, backpacking, hiking, gardening. I also love to read, to play with my grandchildren and hang out with my own children. I also enjoy writing.What’s your favorite lesson to teach? Algebra – almost any algebra lesson. But I also love to teach literature, especially when the focus is multiculturalism.What was your favorite teacher like? She was old-ish, very strict, very rigorous. We were not friends, but I learned a lot from her. I also had a high school calculus teacher whom I liked a lot. There were only two students in the class, so we were able to develop a closer relationship. He used humor a lot to lighten up our classes, and that was incredibly effective.What is something interesting about you that no one else knows? Most people don’t know that if I had to choose a most favorite thing to do, it would be to ski with my children.If you could go anywhere in the world, where would it be and who would you take with you? I have already been many places in the world, so now I am really happy to stay home. However, in May each year my teaching partner and I take the eighth-graders to a foreign country, usually Mexico or Costa Rica, for two weeks, and I love that trip and the company of my partner. If I HAD to choose a place to which to travel, I would return to a singular beach in the Galapagos Islands. It was a long, white sand beach, several miles’ hike from the nearest habitation. The bay curved, had an inside and an outside break, and a lonely laurel tree stood above a clear pool at the far end, with a crane standing on one leg reflected in the water.What do you most miss about being a kid? Being picked up and thrown around. Now that I have grandchildren, whom I roughhouse with all the time and watch being thrown around by their parents, it seems to me to be incredibly fun. I miss the physical abandon of youth.Each Tuesday the Post Independent will feature a teacher from a private school, Roaring Fork School District Re-1, Garfield School District No. 16 or Garfield School District Re-2.


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