Posted in Miscellaneous

Professors Who Care

Being a part of the David O. McKay School of Education has many advantages. However, the one that I have noticed most during this semester is that all the professors care about each one of their students. I’m not sure of the exact reason but I think it is because education professors have studied education and learned the importance of letting students know they genuinely care about them. As a student and future teacher, experiencing this caring attitude by a professor makes me realize how much I appreciate being cared about. It also makes me want to display genuine caring in my classroom.

Education professors show they care in many ways, but most importantly they give meaningful feedback and they know my name.

When I began taking classes within the McKay school I started to read the feedback given on my assignments and quizzes. I noticed that the professors were all giving me meaningful feedback. They told me exactly which areas I got docked points for and what I could do next time to improve. They also pointed out my strengths and told me what I was doing well. This level of feedback has been very helpful because I could improve on those things that I struggled with and receive a better grade on future assignments . It is important for teachers to do this at a university but it is even more important to do this during elementary, middle, and high school because children are still developing and would really benefit from learning how to improve their work.

As much as I admire my McKay School professors for giving meaningful feedback, the quality that I admire most is how they make the effort to learn every student’s name. This is significant because these professors have multiple classes and many students and  they still take the time to learn names. When a person knows my name, I feel like they know me better as a person and that they care about me. I become more than just a  name on a roll that gets passed around or a name taken from an iClicker quiz. When a professor knows my name and calls me by my name I become more than just a student and I feel more inclined to participate in class.

The McKay School of Education teaches by doing and that is one of the great benefits of being a part of this program. I learn by seeing and experiencing the practices that I will implement as a teacher. Not only is the material learned in class important but the teacher practices are also learned first hand.

Posted in Miscellaneous

BYU Devotionals

As we attend BYU, we have an awesome opportunity of participating in devotionals and forums held every Tuesday at 11 am. They are held in the Marriott Center, but are also shown online and in other buildings on campus, including the Joseph Smith Building. I know that sometimes it can be hard to give up an hour of studying (or sleeping in) to attend the devotionals on Tuesdays, but I have found that each time I have gone that it has definitely been worth my time. On February 14th, Elder Kearon, of the Seventy spoke and his talk, titled, “Messages of Love”, really stood out to me. I will share a few of his remarks.

  • Most of us are far from home as we are here at BYU.
  • Messages from home, no matter how they arrive can have a powerful influence to steady you as you are away from home. Letters, text, phone calls, e-mails go a long way to help us as we are away from home.
  • We are all far from our heavenly home.
  • Do you ever feel homesick from your eternal home? He has not let us leave his presence and come to earth without access to communicate with him.
  • God, our loving Heavenly Father, sends us messages that are often quiet. We have prayer, personal revelation, scriptures, the words of the prophets, and heavenly music to communicate with him and to feel his love.
  • We are often so busy that we impair our ability to receive much needed messages from our eternal home.
  • Some of us have a poor digital diet. In this digital age, we need to be selective in the messages we receive.
  • Sometimes we block the very messages that bring us joy.
  • It is often because we are so busy that we impair our ability to receive the much needed messages from our eternal home.
  • We must remain in constant communication with God if we desire to return home to Him.
This devotional inspired me to spend less time on Facebook and to keep in constant communication, not only with God, but with my family and friends back home. Each of us may learn different things from the same devotional and different messages will speak to each of us differently, it’s really fascinating. This is just one of the many devotionals that I have attended, but I definitely left the devotional with a true desire to be a better person and to do good things. I would encourage you to take advantage of the devotionals that are held at BYU. Have you been positively influenced by a message from the Tuesday devotionals? Have you found devotionals and forums to be a worthwhile sacrifice? I would love to hear what you’ve learned. Be sure to attend the upcoming forums and devotionals:
Posted in Miscellaneous

The Advantages of Talking with Your Professors

Before coming to BYU, a friend of mine who already graduated from BYU, was telling me things that he learned during his time at BYU. One of the things he learned was that it is very advantageous to talk with your professors. At the time, I didn’t think much of it and figured if I were in a situation where I needed to speak with a professor that I would—no problem! Well, then I got to BYU and things got a little more intimidating. I didn’t really have the courage to talk to my professors, especially when I was in a class with 600 other students. Since then, I have gained a little more confidence and it has really paid off! Here are two of my experiences…

In my biology class last semester, I was struggling with the material and realized that I should probably meet with my professor. At first, I was very nervous. I figured that my professor had plenty of other things to do and the last thing he would want to do was meet with me. I thought that he would be really stingy and strict about points in the class and the effort that I was putting into the class. I finally decided to go see him and it made all the difference! He was totally willing to help me out. He saw the great potential that I had to do really well in his class. I am so glad that I chose to go see him. That one meeting with my professor helped me throughout the rest of the semester. After I had met with him, I wished that I had done so much earlier!

This semester, I am taking Religion C 333: Living Prophets with Brent Top. It is an awesome class! I recently had an experience where I was able to reflect on the many things that we have learned in my religion class so far. I decided to share this experience with my professor and he was so excited! He loved seeing a student using the information that he taught in class.

I think that if we have these influential experiences that it is absolutely beneficial to share them. It gives the professor great feedback and makes both individuals more excited about the course material. I would highly recommend sharing these meaningful moments with your professors, when appropriate. Have you had any similar experiences? Was it beneficial to see your professor? What did you learn from doing so? I would love to hear!

Posted in Miscellaneous

Applying Knowledge Learned in Classes

During my short time at BYU, I have realized how important it is to apply things I learn in class to my own life and so far, many opportunities to do so have come my way. I have two examples to share. Last semester in Biology (BIO 100), we were given an assignment in the first week of class to watch the sunset and write a one-page paper on it. We were learning about how the beauty of the nature all around us is Biology! It was a simple way that we could apply the things that we were learning in class to the real world.

In my Human Development class (SFL 210), we learned about and were tested on Developmental Milestones of infants. When I am walking between classes with students from my class and we spot an infant, we try and guess how old he or she is using the milestones of walking, sitting up, grasping, etc. Not only is it entertaining, but it really is important to start applying things learned in class to real life, even if it’s applying knowledge learned in General Education classes.

The Aims of a BYU Education state, “BYU should furnish students with the practical advantage of an education that integrates academic skills with abstract theories, real-world applications, and gospel perspectives. Such an education prepares students who can make a difference in the world, who can draw on their academic preparation to participate more effectively in the arenas of daily life.” Soon enough, I will be applying different teaching techniques, classroom management skills, and essentially everything that I learn to my job as a teacher. And according to the Aims of a BYU Education, not only will I be able to use the things I learn in my future profession, but also in daily life!

If you haven’t already, I challenge you to take the things that you learn in class and apply them to your life.