Frequently Asked Questions

Greetings, Jags! Welcome to the 2015-2016 school year!

The first day of school just ended, and I feel like it was a success! It was wonderful to meet all of you, and I think we’re going to have an awesome school year. You guys ROCK at sock toss!

As you already know, I asked you write any questions you have for me on an index card before leaving class today. Many of you had wonderful questions, so I decided to create an FAQ page just for you! If I haven’t answered your questions below, you are welcome to ask me again tomorrow.

Thanks for being awesome today and enjoy reading the answers to your questions!

– Ms. Hayes

Questions about English 9

What will we do in this class? Is it hard? Is it fun?

My goal is to teach you the skills necessary to be successful in high school and beyond high school. We are going to read a lot and write even more because the best way to improve both of those skills is through practice! Is it fun? I think so! I love teaching, and I have fun with my students almost every day. I also don’t think this class is very hard, but it is a lot of work.

The most important thing to remember is to maintain a positive attitude. If you decide that this class is hard, it will be hard. If you decide that this class is boring, it will be boring. But if you decide that this class is easy or fun, that’s what it will be!

What about essays, tests, and quizzes?

Ah, the dreaded essay. Yes, we will write essays in class. Some months we will write essays more frequently than others, it just depends on the unit. You will also have vocabulary quizzes every Friday (check out your quiz dates and vocabulary words here). As for tests, I don’t give very many of those. You’ll have a vocabulary test for your final exam, and you’ll have state and district mandated tests such as PARCC and RIA, but that’s just about it.

Why do we need a syllabus?

A syllabus is a document that outlines the requirements, expectations, and assignments for a class. The root for syllabus is the same as syllable: syl meaning with or together. Think of it this way, your syllabus outlines how different parts of the class will work together to teach the subject of the class, just as syllables work together to create words! You need a syllabus to help you understand what your teacher expects of you, and it also tells you what to expect from the class.

Check out your syllabus here.

What if we can’t afford the school supplies or we don’t have Internet access at home?

Please come see me if you can’t afford school supplies. The school has extra supplies available for students who cannot afford to buy their own.

If you don’t have internet access at home, you will have opportunities to access it at school. I will never expect you to complete a homework assignment online or on a computer without allowing you to also work in my room during lunch or after school. You can also go to the public libraries to use the internet, type up assignments, or even print!

Sometimes I will ask you to watch a short video as homework. I will play this video in my classroom during before it is due for students who would prefer to watch it on the big screen.

You can find my technology letter to parents here.

Will we have to take a lot of notes?

Yes. This is school, and notes are an unpleasant side effect of school. You’ll take notes using the Cornell note-taking style, which is explained very clearly in this awesome video.

Will we have a lot of homework?

That depends on your definition of homework. I will expect you to study your weekly vocabulary words at home, and I will often assign a video for you to watch on your own time before coming to class. Sometimes, you will have essays or projects that we won’t have time to finish in class. Also, whenever you don’t finish an assignment in class, it becomes homework. Just remember that I only assign homework when it is necessary for you to learn the material or to finish an assignment or a project.

What time will you stop responding to messages through Remind or email?

Great question! That depends on what I’m doing when you message me, and on the urgency of the message. I try to respond to messages right away, but if my phone has died or I’m sleeping or playing kickball or busy in any other way I won’t respond.

Questions about Ms. Hayes

How old are you and when is your birthday?

I am twenty-eight years old, and my birthday is August 1st.

How long have you been teaching?

2015-2016 will be my fifth year teaching and my second year at AHA. Last year I taught English 11, English 12, and AP Literature and Composition. Before that, I taught seventh-grade language arts in a different district.

What made you want to be a teacher? And why English?

Holy moly, I love telling this story but it is quite long. In a nutshell, I come from a family of teachers. My maternal grandfather was a psychology professor at UNM, and my maternal grandmother was once a librarian. All of my paternal aunts and uncles are teachers. I didn’t decide to become a teacher until my roommate begged me for help in English 101 during my freshmen year in college. The rest is history!

I actually wrote a longer post about this last year, which you can find here.

Are you married?

No, but I am in a committed relationship with a wonderful person.

Do you have kids?

No, but I have two fur babies! My cat’s name is Dexter and my dog’s name is Baloo. Dexter will be five-years-old in April, and Baloo will be two-years-old in March. Dexter hates Baloo, but Baloo adores Dexter. They’re quite entertaining to watch!


What is your favorite book?

Oh my, that is an impossible question to answer. There are so many! I love Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein and The Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins and The Pearl by John Steinbeck and the Song of Ice and Fire series by George R. R. Martin and the list goes on and on! I think the book that had the most influence on me was the Harry Potter series. J. K. Rowling is brilliant, and I would lose my marbles if I ever had an opportunity to meet her.

What is your favorite sport?

Kickball! I play in an adult league in town. We’re terrible and almost never win, but we rock at raising money for our league charity organization and we have a ton of fun out on the field! I also like watching football. Go Broncos!

What is your favorite food?

Depends on my mood! I love sushi, pizza, chile rellenos, and anything else smothered in red and green chile.

What is your favorite animal?

Dogs! They’re amazing. Also, I love videos of baby animals doing silly things.

What is your favorite color?

Probably yellow.

What was your high school experience like?

No comment.

Just kidding. It was okay. I wasn’t the greatest student because I cared more about my social life and making money to do fun things with my friends. I didn’t work as hard as I should have, so my grades were only mediocre. I think I graduated from high school with a 3.2 or something, but that’s only because I knew how to jump through hoops to bring up my grades. I feel like I didn’t actually learn as much as I should have because at the time my intent wasn’t to learn but to pass and get it over with. If I could go back, I would spend more time trying to understand the information on a conceptual level so I wouldn’t forget it immediately after class. Now I have to go back and relearn some of the stuff I was taught in high school, which takes even more time now that I’m older.

Do you like shrimp?

Yes. (Okay, this wasn’t a frequently asked question, but it was so random and funny that I just had to include it on this list!)

Questions about Mr. Rasberry 

How old are you and when is your birthday?

I’m 34 and my birthday is on July 27, 1981.

 How long have you been teaching?

I’ve actually never taught students in a classroom before. I’ve taken a number of different teaching courses in college. I have a lot of writing experience. I worked at The Daily Lobo newspaper for the University of New Mexico for two years. I also worked for the Local IQ Magazine. I’ve had over three years of writing experience.

What made you want to be a teacher? And why?

I’ve always enjoyed writing. I knew that I’d like to have a career where writing was a main source of  involvement. I’ve read certain books, poems and songs that have inspired me and my own creativity. I’ve also felt this way in my high school English courses. I’d really like to try and help young students today feel more  inspired by what they’re reading. I don’t think this feeling ever really goes away.

Are you married?

I’m not married.

Do you have kids?  

I don’t have any kids at the moment.

What’s your favorite book?

The Diary of Anne Frank, 1984, and The Island of the Blue Dolphins.

What’s your favorite food?

Any sort of Asian inspired foods. Chinese food, Thai food, Japanese and Vietnamese.

What’s your favorite animal?

My favorite animal is a cat.

What’s your favorite color?

My favorite color is blue.

What was your high school experience like?

That’s a tricky question. I started off at high school very timid and shy. I didn’t make very many friends my freshman year. It wasn’t until I joined the swim and track teams my sophomore year that I started to come out of my shell. Extracurricular sports provided me with an outlet to reach out and make new friends. I’d say high school started off very quiet  and mellow at first. Then my last two years of school were very fun and innovative. I learned so much.

Do you like Shrimp?



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