From Inspired to Inspiring

DM graduate returns to teach


Maddie Plati

A FRESH PERSPECTIVE: Ms.Elliot sits behind her College English class as they all talk before class begins. “I’m a hands-on person, so if I can find a way to do things hand on, that’s my favorite way,” said Ms. Elliot. While they are currently reading “1984” in the picture, they are also starting their final project for the quarter.

Madeline Plati, Reporter

In 2014 Ms. Elliot graduated from Desert Mountain. Nine years later she has returned–as Desert Mountain’s new freshman English and College English teacher. 

After teaching at Desert Canyon Elementary School then  middle school, Ms.Elliot was “ready to come back to what I knew best.”

“I wanted to see what this well-oiled machine looks like on the inside,” said Ms. Elliot, who also attended Desert Canyon as a student, “since I only got to see it from the outside.” 

Now inside the machine, Ms.Elliot sees all sides, helping prepare students for high school–and college–success. With her new perspective, Ms.Elliot has proven to have a fun and creative approach to teaching after not even a year. 

A ‘full circle’ from inspired to inspiring

Ms. Elliot’s desire to share knowledge with others inspired her to teach. 

“I knew I loved working with kids,” Ms. Elliot said, “ and I knew that I needed a job that could be with people, I needed to be around others.”

She graduated here at DM in 2014 and started teaching when she was 21. “It just felt like a full circle thing,” she said.

When Ms. Elliot was younger, English was one way that she could truly express herself. “”As a kid growing up I loved books, I loved literature, and I love trying to get the spark going with everyone else.”

This love is reflected in her classroom, where she always shows a positive attitude towards teaching her class and has a passion for teaching her books. George Orwell’s 1984 is one of her favorites because of its parallels to reality.

Class ‘speaks to real-world experiences’

In her classroom she hopes to inspire others and let her students enjoy good books. “Although you’re not gonna get 100 percent success all the time, but I strive for at least a little bit of growth for the love of reading and literature,” said Ms. Elliot. She always makes sure to spark interest with all of her students through her own love of English from being a teacher. 

“At the end of the day I respect everybody and I hope that they respect me,” said Ms. Elliot. 

She begins the class with a warm-up question with the slide called “Fri-Yay” including what they will be doing for the day. Because this class is College English, the slide also says how many days remain until graduation. 

After everyone finishes the warm-up question she asks the odd numbered tables to give a “golden line” about their thoughts on their current book 1984

“I feel like I can speak to real world experiences in this modern day,” Ms. Elliot said.

‘A wonderful person’

With being a teacher, coordinating and creating projects together can really be a great time to work with someone. Ms.Martinez, a freshman english teacher, works alongside with Ms.Elliot on their projects for their regular Freshman English classes. 

“I think she is a wonderful person and a wonderful teacher,” said Ms. Martinez, who also teaches freshman English. “She makes my life easier as she and I both teach Freshman English, and we both are in the same PLC group.

“She has been a wonderful person to be in a team with.”

When Ms. Martinez had a lot of resources to teach Lord Of The Flies, because she taught the book last year, she worked with Ms.Elliot on what assignments they would both distribute to their students and what their big projects for the book should be. 

From there, they both edit and work on each other’s ideas. Ms. Martinez discussed how both of their classes can “funnily enough, look similar from a project and assignment aspect.” 

“I am a very ‘teamwork forward’ person, and she has been a great, wonderful, amazing, and easy person to work with. Even if it’s just, ‘can I read you this email and let me know if I sound insane or not,’ she never judges me when I sound insane,” said Ms. Martinez. 

‘A really good English teacher’

Senior Thomas Bonvehi, who is enrolled in Ms. Elliot’s College English class, said empathy was one of her best qualities.

She can tell when students are exhausted, Bonvehi said; rather than saying “top falling asleep, pay attention or else I’ll give you detention, she’ll sometimes give (us) around five minutes just to warm up,” said Bonvehi, adding that he also appreciates the class’ balance of homework.

“To me, she is a really good English teacher.”

Students who enjoy having her as a teacher in their elementary and middle school years now have the unique opportunity to learn from her again in high school.

“What makes an enjoyable, wonderful teacher is having a heart full of love, commitment, passion, patience, and desire,” said freshman David Martinez. “Ms. Elliot has all of these in her personality which makes her the best teacher ever!”