FRIDAY FACULTY FEATURE: Kate Kubina’s Favorite Memories – and Books

This week’s look at English teacher Kate Kubina’s life inside and outside the classroom.

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photo by Claire Bauer

Kate Kubina grades papers at her desk after school Dec. 9. Kubina’s favorite part of teaching is the students. “It’s all of these notes and encouragement and having those moments in class where you just like crack up laughing, those amazing conversations that just come out of nowhere, and just getting to know students [keeps me teaching],” Kubina said.

by Lucas Lemire, Reporter

To some, she was a freshman English or Honors English 1 teacher. To others, she became their Senior Studies mentor or Sci-Fi Fantasy instructor. Over 13 years, Kate Kubina has taught a variety of classes. Kubina talks about her teaching career and some of her favorite forms of storytelling and literature.

Q: What do you teach at Rock Canyon? 

A: I teach freshman English Honors, Sci-Fi Fantasy, and Senior Studies.

Q: How long have you been teaching? 

A: This will be year number 13.

Q: What got you into teaching?

A: I feel like high school is a really difficult time. It’s very challenging. And I think you go through a lot of stuff. When I went through high school, it was really challenging. I felt like I didn’t have teachers that I could connect with at all and I felt like teachers were another figure telling me what to do. If I had had a teacher that had really understood me and took the time to help me navigate things, I feel like it would have been a game-changer. So for me, it is 100% about the connection, about being there for students, helping you guys navigate a really difficult time in your lives. I also happen to love what I teach. I love literature. I love diving deep into books, but it’s more of a way to help you use that literature as a way to make sense of the craziness of your lives. So it’s just a way to help you navigate.

Q: What keeps you teaching?

A: It’s you guys. The students. It’s like all of these notes and encouragement and having those moments in class where you just like crack up laughing, those amazing conversations that just come out of nowhere, and just getting to know students.

Q: Is that just teaching at Rock Canyon or have you taught at other places?

A: I think this is my year 11 here.

Q: Where did you go to school?

A: I got my undergrad degree at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, and then my graduate degree, my master’s I got through Regis University.

Q: What is your all-time favorite genre?

A: What is my favorite genre of all time? I mean, I’m into thrillers, fantasy, dystopia, that kind of stuff.

Q: What is your favorite form of media, like a book, movie, or show?

A: I mean, I have to say book because I’m an English teacher. There are great books out there.

Q: Follow-up question, what is your favorite book?

A: I get into different series. I mean, my old stuff. I still love “To Kill a Mockingbird.” I feel like I still get goosebumps when I read that. I love “Into Thin Air.” I love so many books that I teach. I would say those two fundamentally. One of my all-time favorites is Ernest Hemingway, “The Sun Also Rises” is a fantastic book. I could go on and on. But yeah, I love every book.