Men in Education Student Spotlight: Chris Brown
Meet Chris Brown, not a famous musician, but a McKay School student! Chris is majoring in Elementary Education and minoring in TESOL K-12. He is from Ogden, Utah but he and his wife Natalie live here in Provo.
Chris served in the Papeete Tahiti mission. He enjoys running, cooking, making bread, spending time outside, and getting to know new people.
Chris is currently in his second practicum at Spring Creek Elementary in a 3rd-grade classroom. Next semester, he will do his student teaching at a school in the Provo district before graduating in April.
Chris was not an Elementary Education major originally. He didn't know what he wanted to study, but his mom told him that he would find out what he wanted to do while on his mission. While he didn't completely figure it out then, he did learn that he liked being around people and wanted to feel some sort of satisfaction with his future career.
With this in mind, he decided to go into human resources. He worked in HR for a while but felt like it was still lacking something. He knew he liked kids and teaching so he decided to take some education classes and see how they went. He took an intro to Elementary Education with Dr. Leavitt and he loved it. All the while battling with the conflicting voices of his own and others' ideas about men in education and his desire to teach, he eventually decided to study Elementary Education.
Now, Chris enjoys teaching more each semester. His favorite part has been practicum because he enjoys being in a real classroom and applying what he has learned thus far. Chris has noticed that kids make a difference, and he enjoys getting to know them and working with them.
In addition to majoring in Elementary Education, Chris chose to minor in TESOL K-12 to better meet the needs of his students. Chris had never realized that there are students who are struggling in school not because they can't do the work, but because they don't understand all the instructions or procedures. Realizing that was a big motivator for him. He realized that students whose first language isn't English may need help, and having a minor in TESOL K-12 is something that he would be able to use to help his future students.
When asked what his ultimate goal as a teacher is, Chris quoted President Nelson, who said, "Education is the difference between wishing you could help other people and being able to help them.” Chris said that his goal is to help students learn and enjoy learning because if they enjoy learning, they will want to keep learning.
We also asked Chris what advice he has for people who are thinking about majoring in education and he said, "People don't market teaching very well, but going into teaching is an act of faith. Take a step even if there are a lot of negative voices. Then you will realize that becoming a teacher isn't bad, it's actually really great!"
Chris is unsure about where he wants to teach after graduation, but he feels a responsibility to teach students who are traditionally marginalized in education. He plans to teach those students and help bridge the achievement gap.
We are so happy to have Chris here in the McKay School of Education! We are grateful to him and all the other students who are working hard to become teachers in spite of those who say that it could never be a good career choice.