Lauren Lackey loves teaching Pre-K at Woodville High School because she gets to see her “babies” grow from four-year-olds to young adults. She has been teaching the Pre-K class for all of her 12 years at Woodville.
“I want my students to remember that I never gave up on them, and I am always their biggest cheerleader,” says Lackey. “I want them to have felt loved and know that I still love them.”
Her first group at Woodville is in the 10th grade this year.
When Lackey started her teaching career, her goal was to make a difference in the life of one child. However, she says, “What has really happened is that each child I have taught has touched my life.”
At the beginning of her career, Lackey thought what many young teachers think. “I thought teaching was just that...teaching kids. What teaching really is, is loving and giving your all every day. I am extremely blessed that God has given me the gift and passion of teaching.”
Lackey’s inspiration to become a teacher came from Mrs. Betty Wooten who made a huge impact on the lives of Lackey and her siblings.
“I watched her make choices that would benefit her students even if it meant changing the way she had taught for years,” says Lackey. “I knew I wanted to make an impact like she did. I learned from her that teaching is individualizing education and doing what is best for the students you have at that moment.”
“I challenge myself each year to step out of the box and teach the way that would allow my current students to most benefit,” adds Lackey.
This loving teacher loves cooking with her school babies. “Cooking is a huge teaching tool,” she says. “During my career, we have cooked green eggs and ham, pink strawberry pancakes, curds and whey, snowflakes, gingerbread men, pizza, and much more.”
Lackey says that small group time is her absolute favorite part of the school day. “I love getting to work with my kids in a one-on-one environment. In small groups, I individualize my instruction to meet the needs of each child.”
As a teacher of the youngest students at school, Lackey gets to witness a lot of “light bulb” moments. “Seeing when a child ‘gets’ something has to be the very best thing about being a teacher,” says Lackey.
Lackey encourages parents to engage with their child every day. “Talk to them and know their dreams and goals,” she says. “I see bullying every day. Parents can help by encouraging their child to treat people like they want to be treated. Their child can be the difference in another child’s day.”
Lackey would tell any young person thinking about a career in education to not give up. “There will be days that are amazing and days that are horrible,” she adds. “Give it your all every day and love them like they are your own.”
Prior to teaching at Woodville, Lackey taught one year at Oakdale Primary in Tuscaloosa. She taught Pre-K there also.
Lackey is a 2002 graduate of North Jackson High School. She earned both her B.S. and M.S. in early childhood special education from Auburn University.
The oldest daughter of Raymond and Alice Atchley and Jeff and Lisa Durham, Lackey has four younger siblings. She is married to Justin Lackey, a lawyer at The Lackey Law Firm, and they have three-year-old twins, Isaac and Emma. On April 9, they will celebrate their ninth wedding anniversary.
The Lackeys are members of First Baptist Church in Scottsboro. She is also a member of Rho Chapter of Delta Kappa Gamma
Lackey enjoys spending time with her family and traveling. She says that she loves cooking. She and her husband enjoy attending Alabama football games.