Frequently Asked Questions about English 9 and 10

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 IA, 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 English 9 syllabus here or your English 10 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.

Frequently Asked Questions about Mrs. Dutro

How old are you and when is your birthday?

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

How long have you been teaching?

2016-2017 will be my sixth year teaching and my first year at MHS. I’ve also taught English 9, English 11, English 12, and AP Literature and Composition at Atrisco Heritage, and 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?


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.

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