Posted in Miscellaneous

Power of Teaching: Dean Prater

By: Kristie Hinckley

Every month, the McKay School of Education sponsors a lecture series entitled “The Power of Teaching.” These lectures are held on Thursdays at 11 a.m. This time slot is conveniently open for many students because no classes are held Tuesdays (and consequently, Thursdays) at 11 a.m. due to weekly campus devotionals. Brad Wilcox, associate professor and creator of this series, said, “[This] lecture series is sponsored to validate those who have chosen education as their major, as well as motivate others who maybe have not thought of majoring in education. We want everyone to understand the power teaching has.”

prater_mary_200x280_v2In January we had the wonderful opportunity of hearing from our McKay School dean, Mary Anne Prater. I was really inspired by her words. She spoke of how her passion for teaching has developed throughout her life. It all began when she received a calling as a primary teacher! Her words made me reflect on the experiences in my life that have helped me develop a passion for teaching and a love for children. I also  had the chance to teach primary. Although it was quite trying at times, I truly learned to look at those children through the eyes of the Master, Jesus Christ. As I listen to my eight-year-old sister read, my passion for teaching increases. That moment in a child’s learning when the “light-bulb” comes on and they begin to understand and apply what they have learned is such a priceless experience. Countless experiences in my life have contributed to my passion of teaching and my love of children.

This opportunity to teach in primary also helped Dr. Prater recognize our need to learn from children and become like them. Jesus Christ always encouraged children to come unto Him and He commanded us to “become as little children” (Matt. 18:3). In the classroom we can live the gospel of Jesus Christ. We don’t teach the principles of the gospel at the chalkboard, but through our examples, as we treat each student as a child of God and follow the Spirit to know our students’ needs. In these moments, we are living the gospel!

Lastly, Dr. Prater identified the mission statement of the McKay School of Education: “We strive to model the attributes of Jesus Christ, the Master Teacher, as we prepare professionals who educate with an eternal perspective.” The education that we receive here at Brigham Young University, in the McKay School of Education, will not only help us as teachers in the classroom, but will help us in the eternities as mothers and fathers.

What experiences in your life have helped you to develop a passion for teaching?

This month, we will have the privilege of being inspired by Mike Tunnel, professor of children’s literature. The lecture will be held on Thursday, February 26th at 11 a.m. in room 115 of the McKay building. You are invited!


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