GeauxTeach STEM: Macy LaFleur Says It’s an Honor to Cheer on Her Students — ‘That’s Your Why'

By Rebecca Nguyen

January 10, 2024

Name: Macy LaFleur

Graduation Year: 2014

Degree: Mathematics, Concentration in Secondary Education


High School Math Teacher at Destrehan High School
Louisiana Teacher Leader Advisor
Masters in Educational Leadership from LSU in 2018
High School Math Teacher at Central Lafourche High School

headshot of macy lafleur

Macy LaFleur, GeauxTeach STEM Alumna

What do you do in your current position? What makes you happy to be doing it? 

  • I currently teach Geometry at my alma mater, Destrehan High School.  I am the Mu Alpha Theta and District Literary Rally sponsor, and I serve as the Geometry Professional Learning Team Leader and previously served as the DHS Math Department Chair. Recently, I was named 2023 St. Charles Parish Public Schools High School Teacher of the Year. I am lucky that I get to do what I love in the place that raised me. DHS is special.
  • What makes me happy? The kids. It's cliché, but that's your 'why'. I'm nearly ten years into the profession now, and I run into kids [that I’ve taught] even today. I give out positive postcards to parents, and I still remember a kid running into me outside of school and saying how happy they were to have gotten that from me. They remember things like that. I try to make a difference despite getting caught up in the many tasks teachers must juggle. It really feels like a family within the school between myself and the other teachers, especially because we're often teaching the same kids. We can discuss how to help the students as a community, not just individuals. I’d like to think I’m wiser, funnier, and a much more empathetic human being thanks to the 1339 nuggets I’ve been able to call mine. I can’t think of any other career on the planet where you directly impact so many young people daily and then get the honor of cheering them on as they grow up.

Macy in the hallway posing in front of Destrehan High insignia

Macy on the first day of school teaching at her alma mater

What are some challenges you have had to overcome? 

  • I am very type A, planner to a fault, but you have to be flexible as a teacher. You have to make sure all students are on the same page. COVID shut down my school, then we had to go hybrid. So I took all of my lessons and recorded myself teaching and gave those videos to the students that were at home during our hybrid days. Then, Hurricane Ida destroyed our school, and we had to platoon with a neighboring school. Shifting everything virtual was even more of a challenge when some students’ basic needs were not being met; we really had to look at our curriculum and prioritize which content had to be taught while we balanced ensuring students' physical and emotional needs were being met at such a tough time. Some students didn't even have a home, a roof over their heads. But it definitely grew me as a teacher and as a person. I made some of the greatest bonds and connections because we went through this together. 

What are the big positives that you experienced in your career? What can prospective students anticipate experiencing as professionals? 

  • In my opinion, the biggest positive as a teacher are the relationships you form with your students. I know you can get bogged down in the content and the million things you have to do as a teacher, but the bond you build with your students makes it worth it. I love when students come back to visit in the years after I teach them. We really feel like family in the classroom, and I enjoy being able to cheer them on as upperclassmen and post graduation in all of their endeavors. 

Macy with Destrehan high school mascot

Macy at a Destrehan High School Football game with a student dressed as the school mascot. 

What were the most valuable things that you got from your undergraduate experience? 

  • A math degree came with a lot of hard classes, juggling all the things was quite the challenge. The most valuable thing was the people I met along the way. I made lifelong friends in the dorm, in GeauxTeach; people in GeauxTeach that didn't become teachers, math people not in education pathways, on social media, networking for education, and so many other ways. I have friends from GeauxTeach who are teachers and work at different schools and we stay in touch, which is great because we can bounce ideas off of each other. 

What did you learn in GeauxTeach that informs how you think about teaching or how you approach your job? What skills have benefited you in your career? 

  • Learning how to make engaging lessons using the 5E lesson plan, as well as how to make detailed math concept lesson plans. Realistically, you won't be writing these detailed lesson plans as a practicing teacher, but having the baseline framework of what my lesson needs to include and how it needs to flow is a skill you need as a teacher. Also, I learned that keeping students engaged was very important, both inside and outside of the classroom. 
  • Now, I've even worked with the Louisiana Department of Education delving into standards and mathematical practices, shifts in instruction and curriculum. I used all these skills I gained through GeauxTeach in order to assess and grade curricula.
  • Teaching is hard, and a lot of time people in our profession don't get the respect we deserve. There is this overwhelming care I have for my students. It is like having 90 of my own teenagers where I am a cheerleader for their successes, a shoulder to cry on through their challenges, and an ear to listen to their problems. Then they leave your classroom, but they are still your kids. So yes, at age 31, I have over 1,000 kids, which I lovingly call my nuggets. Some students' stories will break your heart, and you take that home with you after 2:30. But knowing you can be a positive role model for a student and make a small difference in their school experience makes it feel like all the hard work is worth it.
  • GeauxTeach taught me how to be a reflective practitioner. I am constantly trying to be better than yesterday. I have been teaching the same content for 10 years, and I don't know if I have ever taught it exactly the same way twice. I make notes to myself on what works and what doesn't and am always trying to improve and do what is best for my students. I try to instill this in my students by pushing them to always push themselves along the continuum of learning and leave the room knowing more than you did the day before.

Macy holding a glass award for District Teacher of the Year

Macy holding her parish high school Teacher of the Year award at the banquet.

Is there anything else you would like to share with us? 

  • To future LSU students, do your best to get involved on campus and meet as many people as you can. You never know where an LSU alumni will pop up in your professional career and the networking could pay off! Most importantly, enjoy every moment on campus. LSU is a special place, and as much as I love where I am at the moment, I'd give anything to relive my four years at LSU. So work hard, but live a'll never get this magical time in your life back! Geaux Tigers!