Farmer Teaches Spanish

Alumna Theresa Farmer uses skills from classes and clubs to mold her Spanish teacher career.


Relive the moment. Theresa Farmer teaches Spanish to her class. She taught at St. Lawrence in grades kindergarten through eighth for a total of three years.

Marching band, Key Club, Spanish Club, National Honors Society and S.A.A.D are a variety of different extracurriculars that helped to shape alumna Theresa Farmer’s teaching career.

“It was a lot of fun being involved with all the extracurriculars. It made the school day go by a little faster because I had something to look forward to before or after school,” Farmer said. “I got to meet different people that I normally wouldn’t meet in my classes with all the extracurricular activities.”

While she was a part of a variety of many clubs, she found a way to make everything fit into her busy schedule. Farmer gained leadership skills by participating in Key Club. While in Spanish Club, she picked up on unique ways to teach Spanish up until she graduated in 1999. She used these techniques when she began her teaching career at St. Lawrence in 2004 after obtaining her degree from Oakland University.

“I used a lot of the things I learned in Spanish class at Malow and Eisenhower with my own students, which was very fun. We did a fashion show which was extra cool because the kids at St. Lawrence wore uniforms so this was a day for them to wear normal clothes, which they very much enjoyed,” Farmer said.

Farmer’s high school Spanish teacher, Monica Klesko, never guessed that any of her students would one day follow in her footsteps. She is glad to know teachers do have an impact on their students. 

“That’s the dream of any teacher. You want to know that the things you said and the things you did motivated people or made them, if not necessarily to become a Spanish teacher, inspired to travel the world and see the world and all the interesting things in it outside of our own little bubble,” Spanish teacher Monica Klesko said. 

Less than ideal conditions and a negative work atmosphere had an effect on Farmer, which resulted in her only teaching for three years. 

“I enjoyed teaching,” she said. “However, I did not have the support from the school that I had hoped to have with the administration and the other teachers; I was the only Spanish teacher, so it was a bit lonely.”

Even in a gloomy environment, Farmer was able to create her own distinct teaching style which had a lasting impact on her own students. 

“To put it bluntly, she was genuine and didn’t seem like she had a superiority complex compared to other teachers. Mrs. Farmer never treated us like we were below her. She found a way to earn our respect while not making us feel like we were less than her,” former student Christine Buck said. “This made her one of my favorite teachers.”

Even though her teaching career may not have been the happiest of times, the years leading up to it were filled with many memorable moments. She may not have known it at the time, but her high school years were some of the most valuable in her lifetime where she gained knowledge to cherish and hold onto forever.

“I was pretty busy and pretty happy,” she said. “I don’t think I had time to change anything. Because if I changed something then something else would have to go and I was very happy with all the activities that I had done.”