My educational philosophy is to encourage a love of learning for learning's sake. When we develop an interest in a subject--even subjects we typically find challenging--we become more motivated to learn and succeed. I engage students by making our lessons meaningful and relevant to their own lives.
I am a high school English teacher with a B.A. in English from the University of Texas at Austin and a M.Ed. in Secondary Education from Texas State University. I specialize in AP test preparation, college admissions essays, and general tutoring in English Language Arts.
Texas State University, 2005-2007
M.Ed., Secondary Education
Teacher Certification, ELA 8-12, ESL Supplemental, AP, GT
The University of Texas at Austin, 2000-2004
B.A., English, History Minor
Stratford High School, English Teacher
2012 -- present
●Create rigorous, meaningful lessons for Pre-AP, AP, and Accelerated students that sharpen their writing skills and encourage a profound understanding of literature’s many interpretations through respectful dialogue, open-ended questioning strategies, and real-world application.
●Develop genuine rapport with students that cultivates a safe and productive environment conducive to creative thought and meaningful analysis. Similarly, I maintain regular and constructive communication with parents to ensure they remain active members of our learning community and advocate appropriately for their children.
●Collaborate with colleagues to ensure that all students on campus are learning the skills necessary to value education and prepare them for their future endeavors.
●Write Advisory curriculum for campus teachers to implement with their students during our weekly “Spartan Time” class, which focuses on character development and post-secondary preparation, while encouraging students to be influential and productive citizens of the world and society as a whole.
●Served as Team Leader for the English II team from 2014-2017 and facilitated horizontal and vertical collaboration and planning between colleagues to ensure best practices.
Lamar Middle School, Language Arts Teacher/Department Chair
2007 – 2012
●Created hands-on, engaging lesson plans for Pre-AP/GT 8th grade classes that allowed students to learn literary topics in ways that were relevant to their own lives.
●Single-handedly wrote curriculum for campus-wide literacy program designed to improve reading and writing skills and instill a life-long love of learning.
●Served as member of the IMPACT committee, Campus Advisory Council, Technology Cadre, Lamar Outreach Subcommittee, and Leadership Board, all of which aimed to support the diverse needs of Lamar’s population
●Coached cheerleaders and served as Student Council co-sponsor, Webmaster, and Language Arts Department Chair.
Freelance Writer/Blogger/Social Media Influencer
2010 -- present
●Regularly contribute to The Huffington Post, SF Gate, and The Mighty and submit topics for consideration on a range of issues pertinent to both my local community and the world at large.
●Maintain popular Instagram profile with over 17K followers, which advocates for inclusion, acceptance, and intervention for individuals with special needs, primarily through the experience of raising three young children in Houston, one of whom has Down syndrome. The page became popular after one of my contributions to the aforementioned publications went viral.
●Keep personal blog, in which I document my adventures as a special needs mother, wife, and teacher. The site has logged over 500K visitors
●Board Member and Educational Chair, GiGi’s Playhouse Houston, 2018-present.
●Winner, Lamar Teacher of the Year, 2011-2012
●Nominee, Lamar Teacher of the Year, 2010-2011
●Chosen by students as Lamar's "Most Respected Teacher," 2009-2012
●Member, Texas State University Dean’s List, 2005-2006.
●Backpacked through Europe and Asia to study art and culture, 2004.
●Member, The University of Texas Dean’s List, 2002-2004
●Advanced Placement Summer Institute
●Pre-Advanced Placement Summer Institute
●Laying the Foundation
●Professional Learning Communities
●Gifted and Talented: Differentiation and Instructional Design
●Special Education: Writing appropriate, data-driven goals
TESTIMONIALS AND RECOMMENDATIONS
“Last school year, we had some last minute changes when we returned to school in August, and Megan found out that we needed her to teach three courses that were new to her, two of which she did not ask for. While it would have been easy to "just get through" the year, Megan never complained and instead poured herself into developing the best lessons she could. She even re-energized our English III Accelerated program that had dwindled to one section and now will need to be two sections due to student demand.”
-Matt, Department Chair and colleague
“Mrs. Mennes is, without a doubt, the best and my favorite teacher I’ve ever had. For a while, the last thing anyone wanted to do after the flood was to try and focus on school, but being home was hard too because it was nothing but Harvey relief for close to 10 months. Her class, however, was something I would wait for, cherish, and then miss. She should be proud for creating an environment like that, as it’s something very rare for students to find and every one of us in that room was lucky to be there.”
-Reagan, former student
“Ms. Mennes is the most relatable teacher at Stratford. She knows what we need as students, which helps us excel in the academic field. She is a genuinely good at what she does and is very invested in helping me reach my goals.”
-Kendall, former student
“She is very fair in how she teaches, grades, and manages our behavior. She is easy to talk to and if I had a problem, I know I could go to her because I trust her and her opinion. She cares about us and works hard every day to make us feel welcome, respected, and informed.”
-Hailey, former student
“I walked into Ms. Mennes’s class, which is buried in the middle of the English hall, on the first day of my Junior year, not knowing then that I would be greeted by who would become my favorite English teacher. She finally made English fun, and presented a class that I finally looked forward to going to. She is the only teacher that I’ve had that is always willing to help no matter the time or place.”
-Ronan, former student
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