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Author: SMS

12th year teacher
English Language Arts
Master's Degree in Education
Secondary Education Certification
College Board Trained in AP Language and AP Literature
ESL endorsed
Wayne State University

The Importance of Building Mental Stamina

When you think of the phrase “Mental Stamina” – what comes to mind?  One student said it best when he wrote, “Mental stamina = brain energy.”

The analogy of amental-staminan athlete needing stamina to ensure his endurance while playing is very similar to the idea that students need to have mental stamina to find success inside the classroom.

Yesterday we took the PSAT in class. The purpose was to gauge where students were, with specific standards, in order to tailor instruction and goal-setting appropriately.

One  by one, I noticed that my students’ efforts seem to wane. Around question #21, I watched as students began to randomly select responses – all so that they could be finished with the PSAT.

(Unfortunately, the larger implication is that now I will not have accurate results to help guide those students.)

Which led me to today’s lesson – why is developing mental stamina so important?

Nowadays, there is an emphasis on helping students develop a “growth mindset.”  This can often be accomplished by changing their self-talk, guiding them through challenges and obstacles, and teaching skills such as perseverance and optimism.

I believe that a growth mindset goes hand in hand with developing one’s mental stamina.  Students should feel a sense of urgency in addressing these principles, without which their path to success may be more challenging than it has to be.

Confucius once said, “It does not matter how slowly you go so long as you do not stop.”

Keep going students – you can do this!

HW:  Write a paragraph reflecting on what is one thing you will do to improve your mental stamina?

Open House: What You Missed

Dear Parents and Students,

Here’s what you missed from yesterday’s open house.  The number one question parents asked me was, ‘What can I do to support my students?’

The short answer is: make sure they are READING!

Did you know that reading improves:

  • comprehension skills
  • vocabulary development
  • writing skills

I recommend visiting this website for a list of 100 books every high school student should read.

Take your education in your hands – the time is now!

A Case for Improving Literacy

Here at Dearborn High School, our goal is to promote a love for learning.  In Language Arts, teachers are working with students to make gains in their reading, writing, speaking, and listening skills.  By using the Common Core Standards as our guide, students are provided the opportunity to continue making progress improving these vital skill sets.  Students: regardless of where your future takes you, reading is imperative to your success. I encourage you to open your minds to the benefits of literacy.  Please help me, help you!


Image result for motivation for reading more infographic

First Day of School

I was asked two questions by my students today that really stood out to me.

  1.  Will Language Arts be a hard class?
  2. What is your favorite part of being a teacher?

I would like to share my responses to those questions you here on my blog.

1. Will Language Arts be a hard class?

I once attended a motivational assembly by Bill Cordes in which he stated YOGOWYPI: You only get out what you put in!  That’s a great philosophy with any thing that you put effort towards.

I pride myself on offering a rigorous (yet accessible) curriculum which engages students and promotes growth in their speaking, listening, writing, and reading skills.   Language Arts will not be a “hard” class, but students will be appropriately challenged and they will be proud of the gains they make throughout the school year.


2. What is your favorite part of being a teacher?

The 2016-2017 will mark my ninth year as an ELA teacher.  It is difficult to narrow down one “favorite” aspect of being a teacher, but if I had to choose one of my favorite moments … it would be when a student who has been struggling experiences an “Aha!” moment.  There is nothing like that moment in which students “get” a challenging or elusive concept or skill.  I look forward to providing several opportunities for students to experience “Aha!” moments in my class.


Thanks for a great first day of school! I am looking forward to an exciting school year! Remember, we are all in this together 🙂

Pioneer Football

Last night I attended my first Dearborn High School Pioneer Football game. Even though we lost by five points to the Northville Mustangs, I walked away feeling content. Unbeknownst to me, I had chosen a seat in the stands behind two former DHS football coaches. One person after another stopped by to say hi to these two men. It was apparent, in the warm greetings and the excited grins, that the coaches had left a legacy here at Dearborn. They reminded me of why we do this job – to make a difference. The sense of community, in the stands, on the field, and around the stadium, was palpable. I am excited to be a part of the Dearborn High School family and look forward to supporting my students at their next game. Go Pioneers!

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