Teacher Spotlight: Ms. Sheaff

2017 marks the third year at Dublin High School for Ms. Sheaff, who teaches English 9 Advanced, English 11, and Freshman Seminar. Ms. Sheaff is also an advisor for the Freshman Mentorship Program (FMP), GiveLight Club, and Key Club, as well as an assistant Junior Varsity volleyball coach. In her role as assistant coach, she coordinates and manages conditioning, tryouts, season practices, and season tournaments throughout the school year. Prior to teaching at DHS, Ms. Sheaff obtained a bachelor’s degree in English from UCLA and a Single Subject Credential in English and Masters in Teaching from Saint Mary’s College of California.

I recently had the privilege of sitting down with Ms. Sheaff to discuss her personal views on teaching as well as her hobbies outside of DHS.


MM: Why did you choose to pursue teaching?


AS: I worked as a camp counselor and loved getting people fired up about activities, meeting new people and learning things.Then, I got more into older kids and teaching them things in a classroom setting. I love the feeling of connecting with students, watching them grow and having taught me new things as well.


MM: Tell me something most people don’t know about you.


AS: I used to do ballet for 10 years. I got up on pointe shoes and everything and then I quit because I was too tall.


MM: What are your passions outside of teaching?


AS: Even though I coach volleyball here, I love playing volleyball and softball outside of school for an adult league.


MM: What is your favorite unit to teach, throughout the school year?


AS: That’s so hard. For Freshman, it has to be ‘Animal Farm’, because we can get political and talk about government. For Juniors, I love ‘The Things They Carried.’


MM: What would you say is the biggest reward and challenge of teaching?


AS: The greatest reward, surprisingly, does not come at the end of the year… the rewards are small and they come every day. When somebody does something that inspires me or a student comes out with something I never knew that would have, those are the rewards. The biggest challenge is getting people to buy in. Sometimes I feel like I’m a salesman, promoting a product that I wish they would buy.


MM: If you could tell your students anything, what would you tell them?


AS: I would tell them to not worry so much about the future, not to the point where you become discouraged and give up on your future. Don’t let the looming presence of an unknown future bring you down today. You can handle things that come at you in life.


MM: What do you want your students to walk away with upon leaving the classroom?


AS: Honestly, I want them to walk away with a positive feeling about the class and the people they meet, as well as an interest to know more about the subject. I don’t want their love of English to die with me; I want it to continue on after they leave me.