8th Grade Language Arts

Phone: ext. 8666


Degrees and Certifications:

Bachelor of Arts Secondary Education, English Hardin-Simmons University Abilene, Texas 2007

Mrs. Shelley Kniffen

Hello and welcome! I am a lifelong lover of reading, writing, and language! This is my 13th year in education, and I am looking forward to many, many more!  I was born and raised in Texas where I attended Hardin-Simmons University, graduating in 2007 with a B.A. in Secondary Education (English). For the first two years of my career, I taught 11th-grade English in my hometown of Clyde, Texas.  When my husband took a new job and moved us to Phoenix, I found a my home at Sonoran Trails Middle School and fell in love with teaching 8th grade! There is no place I'd rather be than right here at STMS--Go Stingers! 

ELA Welcome Letter

Contact Me:  Shelley Kniffen

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My Educational Philosophy

  • I believe that the purpose of education is to help young people build a foundation of knowledge from which they can launch into a passion that makes them productive members of society. In the words of Winston Churchill, “We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.” General education is the first step in helping students find what they have to offer this world and how they can use their gifts and abilities to create a life well-lived.
    My role as a teacher is to facilitate learning by pushing students to try new things, take on difficult tasks, see failure as a part of growth, and in the end, take ownership of their learning. I cannot force them, but I can provide them with a variety of opportunities and challenges and encourage them in their endeavors. I provide the scaffolding that allows students to grow their critical thinking and practical communication skills in the hope that one day they will no longer need me.