After 28 years of teaching, Teresa Lawler’s passion and excitement about education and her students is still readily apparent.
“Young people are so amazing. They have so many challenges and yet they rise to the occasion,” she says. “They are intelligent, funny, thoughtful and kind. We have amazing kids in Ankeny.”
Lawler, who graduated from Buena Vista University, received her master’s degree from Northwest Missouri State University, and a communication endorsement from UNI.
“I’m a nerd, and I love taking classes” she says of her 62 additional graduate credits. “Although, I always learn a bunch from the kids.”
Lawler knew from a young age that she wanted to be a teacher.
“My second and sixth grade teachers, along with two English teachers, a social studies teacher and a consumer science teacher in high school had huge impacts on my life,” she says. “I knew for a long time I wanted to teach.”
Beginning her career at Carroll High School, Lawler went on to Melcher-Dallas and Jefferson-Scranton before coming to Ankeny seven years ago, first at Ankeny High School, and now Centennial High School. While she currently teaches mostly seniors, she has taught at both the middle school and high school level in a variety of subjects. This semester Lawler is teaching Advanced Placement language and composition, fundamentals of oral communication and introduction to classic film.
Lawler relies upon her high level of energy with her students.
“My goal is that they are prepared, not just for college, but for the communication skills they will need for the rest of their lives. I am very passionate,” she says. “I can get really hyper and crazy at times, but I try to do so without being too annoying.”
A unique sense of humor helps Lawler create an open environment for her students.
“I want a relaxed atmosphere, where kids can take chances, share information, and take risks,” she explains. “Hopefully I encourage that risk taking with my humor and with questioning things.”
The opportunity to begin working at the new Centennial High School was exciting for Lawler.
“I was so excited for this school year to start,” she says. “We get to begin an entirely new tradition here. Its amazing. I hope we never take for granted the community and the support we have been given.”