My heart holds true to the white and blue of BYU for many reasons, but it holds true the most because of the professors. They filled me with inspiration and a commitment to be the best person I can be. I would like to share my feelings for two professors that most influenced my life for good.
As a brand new freshman in Fall 2008 I was nervous about the life I would lead at BYU and if I would fit into its huge academic world. As I sat in Dr. Nelson’s SFL 210 Human Development class I knew that I was in school for a higher purpose than my own personal development. I learned that I was in school for the children I would eventually teach, and not just for myself. Dr. Nelson’s lectures helped me see that teaching and living in this world are about people and relationships. Through his stories of his own family life, my knowledge was expanded about the individuality of the person, and the need to be understood and loved. Though I cannot remember the exact lectures Dr. Nelson gave, I remember vividly the last day when he told us that he taught because he wanted his college students to grow and feel important, but more importantly he taught and still teaches for those students and children we will influence in the future. His purpose with his teaching was of a higher quality and that motivation still inspires me today. I was lucky to have this wonderful professor as a foundational teacher to set me on the right path of selfless service throughout my college career.
A couple years later I entered Dr. Losser’s management class excited and nervous about teaching, especially since I was in the elementary education program and on the path to becoming a full-time teacher. However, the nerves soon calmed when Dr. Losser started to teach by example how to be a master teacher. For example, she would involve students in the learning process by having us discuss in groups what our philosophies were for teaching. Also, she let us, and even expected us, to make mistakes when we went into the elementary classrooms, so that we could learn by doing. Though it was hard facing that I was not yet the perfect teacher I dreamed, I gained more skills through being in the classroom and learning to apply the management techniques she taught us, then I ever would have been if we only studied case studies. Similar to Dr. Nelson, Dr. Losser had a higher purpose in teaching our group of girls. Though she loved each of us I knew she was giving us her best teaching advice because she cared so much about the future students we would have. That was the most important lesson I learned from her that semester: students need to know without a doubt that they are loved.
Finally, something she once said that had a profound effect on me was, “Be the light in your student’s lives.” This motto was the reason I chose my classroom theme: “Sailing Towards Knowledge.” I hope as I share my light (my knowledge) with my 4th graders, they will then take the light and continue to learn throughout their lives and become the best they can be.
These are just some of the professors I remember best. What professors have inspired you, or showed you that you matter? Were they part of your major program or just general courses? I’d love to hear your thoughts and comments.