As students in education we have so many opportunities to see awesome teachers in action. For example, I have gone to the BYU Preschool and observed several times. Last semester, I volunteered in a third grade classroom every Friday for one of my classes. We will continue to have these opportunities as volunteers, practicum students, and even student teachers. But we don’t actually have to be that far in the education program to see incredible examples of effective teachers. All we need to do is attend our BYU classes! In these classes we can find “hidden” treasure! I could think of countless memorable moments in my classes, where I feel like I learned from master teachers and found ideas to add to my treasure box. Here are just a few:
- One of my fantastic religion professors helped me apply scriptures that I had not previously pondered much, to my everyday life. He made the scriptures come alive for me!
- In one of my classes, our professor had us work in small groups every week. He knows that we will be working in small groups in our professions (PLCs, or professional learning communities), so he made a simulation of that as closely as he could.
- The same professor believes that elementary students should have opportunities to receive feedback and improve their work, so that is how our class worked too. He strongly believes that every student can be successful.
- My professor for my ‘Dance in the Elementary Classroom’ class knows that it’s hard to remember all the dances that we might want to use in our future classrooms, so when we are practicing the dance in class, she has half of us “film” (on our smartphones) and half of us dance, and then we switch. By the end of the semester, we will have a library full of videos that we can refer to later. That will be so useful!
- In another of my classes, we learned about assessment types and the effectiveness of each type. Instead of having a midterm, we had a personal interview with the professor. We taught him what we had learned in the class. We knew at the beginning of the course that this would be the assessment type and we studied accordingly.
So, take advantage of the classes you are in right now! Instead of totally focusing on being a student, step back and notice the admirable qualities, techniques and teaching strategies of your very own teachers! We are very privileged at BYU to have incredible professors. Take note of the things that they do that you would like to recreate in your future classroom to add to your treasure box!