SUGAR GROVE – Aaron Lawler has a lot going on in his life right now. He’s a professor, a newly published author and he hopes to add "school board member" to his resume after the April 4 election.
Lawler has been an educator for 15 years in a number of different roles and schools, but now he's a full-time humanities professor at Waubonsee Community College.
“I like learning about different people and cultures – their stories, music, art literature, the science about them,” Lawler said. “I like to survey everything about them. I don’t like to dig deep into one thing, but [rather] learn a lot about everything. That started at a young age for me and [it's] what drove me to this particular subject matter.”
In his spare time, he’s always had time to write. As a young child, his mother would tell him stories and taught him how to tell stories.
“I’ve always enjoyed writing – and have published peer-reviewed studies in humanities, technology, game theory and education – but I took all my creativity and finally sat down to write my first young-adult fiction novel.”
The novel is titled "The Marvelous Paracosm of Fitz Faraday and the Shapers of the Id" and is a murder mystery. There are three main characters who have to work together to solve a murder. But the kids have to use supernatural powers and some science-fiction to help them do so.
Lawler wrote the novel with a classroom curriculum in mind – one that is available for purchase.
The curriculum is aligned to the Common Core State Standards for grades seventh through 10th, with a suggested schedule for a 12-day literacy study using the reading strategy – a compare and contrast structure. Each lesson includes collaborative and active learning strategies, supplemental resources, handouts, assessments and additional readings. The book is examined with Mark Twain’s "The Adventures of Tom Sawyer" and nonfiction articles included. Students can chart their growth in journals and learning logs.
The novel, curriculum package and signing dates are all available on Lawler’s website at writeraaronjlawler.strikingly.com/.
His next journey in life is hopefully becoming a member of Kaneland District 302’s Board of Education. The board’s vision is to prepare learners for the community, college and their career.
Lawler said he has a simple plan to implement this vision: “I want to serve, so that I can share my time and my talents with the community; I want to represent the needs of different groups as a parent, an educator, an activist, and a faculty member of our community college; and I want to create stronger bonds between all stakeholders, and be your voice for an education that serves the needs of tomorrow."
As a parent, teacher and community professor, Lawler said he knows what needs to be done for the education of tomorrow – the education that serves the community, prepares children for college, and readies young adults for the work force.
“I’ve crafted my entire career on wearing different hats and succeeding,” Lawler said. “I know my knowledge as a parent, teacher, educator, and now college professor will help the school board implement their vision, create positive pathways and help come up with a plan to make it all happen.”