Teacher Spotlight: Teresa Wallace


Tristan Cates, Messenger Reporter

How long have you been teaching?

I’m currently in my twenty-fifth year!

Did you have any jobs before teaching? explain!

I had various jobs that I worked through college to pay the bills, but teaching is my first career. I attended Murray State University and worked at the local movie theatre there. I also was an in-class teacher’s assistant for a technology class. One of my professors was writing a textbook, and he asked me to work on the examples for the English section on business communication. I’ve also worked several retail jobs and been a waitress.

What lead you to teaching?

My teenage years were difficult for a variety of reasons. School remained a constant, no matter what else was happening. I was fortunate to have teachers who recognized the difficulty for me. They guided me through the hard times and helped me to see my potential and my future’s potential. I wanted to be a teacher to pay that forward.

Favorite Movie?

Christmas Vacation

Favorite Book?

Looking for Alaska

Favorite fictional character?

Harry Potter

Who or what inspires you?

I’m inspired by people who see the light in the darkness, in themselves and in others. We are in this wonderful, crazy thing called life together. Life isn’t always going to be beautiful. It’s going to be ugly, too. We’re all going to have to battle unfortunate truths. How much better is it to have other warriors join us in those battles?!? We don’t have to fight through anything alone. I’m inspired by people who realize this.

Why did you choose your teaching concentration?

Although I teach German full time, German was not my initial teaching concentration. I have a B.A. and an M.A. in English. As I mentioned earlier, I had several teachers who inspired me, and although those teachers were in a variety of content areas, I found the lessons I learned through literature to be the ones that spoke to me the most. I wanted to teach English so that I could share those messages. Even though I’m not teaching literature now, I still find ways to help students through life’s struggles. I post a weekly quote on my board and use that as a way to address issues that are relevant to teenagers.

Where did you go to high school?

Trigg County – Coach Sivills and I were Wildcats together!

What is your favorite thing about teaching at MCHS?

The people. Yes, we have an amazing facility, but it is the people who make this place Mustang Nation! We are fortunate to have an amazing administrative team who supports faculty, staff, and students. The continuous reminder to “Work Hard, Be Nice” is the core of what we represent. I’ve been through my own unfortunate truths since Mustang Nation was born, and I have felt the love, the blessings, and the support of the people here. There were days when all it took was one text message, one thoughtful note, one hug to get me through to the next moment.

What is one thing that you wish your students knew about high school?

High school is a stepping stone to your next big adventure – the rest of your life! Take advantage of the opportunities that you have at MCHS to truly discover yourself. Know that you have people here who care about you. This is the foundation for your next adventure. Make it count! Most importantly, do not be too hard on yourself. Yes, you are almost an adult – the key word is “almost.” You still have much to learn about the world and about yourself. You are going to make mistakes. Not every moment will be amazing. Hang in there for the ones that are.