Dear Parents:


Over the years that I have been teaching, I have often reflected on my practices in the classroom and my beliefs toward education and learning. While some of the pieces change from year to year, there are several constants.


First, my classroom is a safe environment in which students are encouraged to discuss their opinions and views of the topics we are studying. Good argument creates good readers and writers. Positive discussion helps to breed tolerance as well as academic excellence.


Second, I hope to spark a lifelong love of learning and reading and writing. The skills necessary for success in our society become more complex all the time, and students who have an opportunity to practice those skills have a far better chance to achieve their goals.


Third, the high school classroom is about developing a foundation upon which students may build their futures. This foundation is not only about academic skills, but also the life habits of being on time, meeting deadlines, engaging in useful and relevant conversations, developing self-respect and respect for others, and the many other behaviors that are part of the business world students will be entering.


As a personal introduction, I have been teaching for twenty-three years both in New Mexico and North Carolina, and I also carry a Georgia teaching certificate. I began teaching English as a Second Language in North Carolina, and I did the same when I returned to New Mexico. I was at Ernie Pyle Middle School in Albuquerque’s South Valley, then I spent the next fourteen years teaching a variety of English classes at Cibola High School. I came to Rio Rancho High in October of 2017.


Communication is vitally important between parents and teachers, between students and teachers, and between students and parents. I encourage you to follow your students’ progress on Power School to view grades and attendance, and I hope you will have candid discussions with your students about the importance of their educations. Power School is a reliable source of information.


You may contact me by e-mail,, any time you wish. I check my email as often as I can throughout the day. I am always open to working with students and parents. I will contact you when necessary about successes and challenges in class. Most of the challenges center on student behaviors: not turning in work on time, absences and tardies, and appropriate language and self-responsibility.


I’m glad to be here, and I’m looking forward to celebrating your students’ success.



Jeff Tolley