Psychology teacher announces plans to retire at end of year

Psychology teacher Charlie Blair-Broeker

Psychology teacher Charlie Blair-Broeker

It seems that yet another teacher is reaching a big milestone on psychology’s social clock: retirement. After it spread all over the school, psychology teacher Charlie Blair-Broeker dispelled rumors when he announced that he would be retiring from teaching after 36 years at Cedar Falls High School.

Blair-Broeker went to college at St. Olaf College, majoring in psychology. After that, he attended graduate school at the University of Iowa, and it was as he was walking to class one day that he realized that he wanted to be a high school psychology teacher. He had never considered the career before, but he knew he wanted to do it. “I cut class that morning to go to the registrar’s office and learn how to make [it] happen,” Blair-Broeker said.

Early on in his career, Blair-Broeker was a substitute teacher in Iowa City and Ann Arbor. He also taught for one year in Kearney, Neb. Then he came to Cedar Falls High School, where he has remained for 36 years. He has taught several subjects over the years: Asian, Latin and African-American history, honors social studies, American government, U.S. history, psychology and AP psychology. He finally decided to retire because he “just kind of felt like it was time to move on.”

Senior AP psychology student Anna Hubbard said that she feels sad that future AP psychology students won’t be able to have Blair-Broeker as a teacher, but she’s glad she had the opportunity to learn psychology from him. “Blair-Broeker is one of the best teachers I’ve had at this school. Not only is he a good person, but he really helps to prepare his students for college,” Hubbard said.

Blair-Broeker said that his favorite part of teaching has been the people. “Teaching is all about the people, both students and colleagues,” Blair-Broeker said. The worst part of teaching for him has been grading essays, cafeteria supervision and faculty meetings, and although teaching has its ups and downs, he really appreciates the career he’s had. “In many ways, teaching has been my life. It’s hard to imagine a more satisfying career,” Blair-Broeker said.

In his retirement, Blair-Broeker isn’t quite sure what he’s going to do. He hopes to do some teaching as an adjunct if anyone will have him, and he thinks he’ll probably continue to write and conduct workshops for psychology teachers. Finally, Blair-Broeker said, “I’d like to travel more, keep the car cleaner and do lots more crossword puzzles.”

Senior AP psychology student Maddie Andreassen said that what she likes most about Blair-Broeker is that he is very welcoming and makes you feel comfortable in class. She also said he adds funny things to whatever subject he is discussing and makes the class informative, while giving students something to look forward to every day. “I have to say that I am really sad to see him go, but I will respect his decision because I respect him a lot and want him to do what’s best for him. He is the best teacher I’ve ever had and possibly ever will,” Andreassen said.

Blair-Broeker is known at the high school for his intelligence and wisdom. With that, he has three words of advice to the students of Cedar Falls High School: “Find passion in your life. There is great satisfaction in accomplishing difficult goals. Work every day to make the world a better place for everyone.”

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