Seeing the Divine Potential of Others-Allie Elison
Updated: Oct 6
Meet Allie Elison, a junior at Brigham Young University in the Special Education: Mild/Moderate Program from South Jordan, Utah!
Allie's passion for teaching individuals with disabilities started when she was in high school as a peer tutor. Speaking of her peer tutoring experience, Allie said that she "loved the environment of the classroom and was amazed by the individual relationship our teacher had with each student... Since then, [she's] always wanted to be that light and safe space for individuals with varying disabilities, and [she] knew that becoming a special education teacher was the way to accomplish the goal."
During CPSE 203, Introduction to Special Education, Allie spent time volunteering in both mild/moderate and severe classrooms. Although she started out emphasizing in teaching students with severe disabilities, this volunteer experience led her to switch to mild/moderate. She said, "I personally enjoy supporting students in academic skills rather than teaching them life skills." Allie recommends taking this introduction course to figure out if special education is right for you! When picking an emphasis, Allie says to "just pick what is best for you!".
When Allie is not working on homework, she enjoys hiking, listening to and playing music, and taking naps! She is the President for the Student Council for Exception Children (SCEC) and the Vice President of Activities in BYU's Best Buddies chapter. She has been heavily involved with Best Buddies since she was a freshman here at BYU.
After serving her mission in the Scotland/Ireland Mission, Allie dove further into the Special Education program. "Something that has confirmed my choice of major is seeing the light in my students eyes as they begin to grow in their understanding. They are sweet, kind, and always make me laugh."
What advice does Allie have for you? If you are interested in SPED, take prerequisites to see how you feel in the classroom. If you have decided that SPED is for you, "enjoy every minute of it and learn all you can... and remember to be teachable!"
Not only is Allie filled with love for individuals with disabilities, but she allows God to enlarge the love she is able to feel. She says, "Being at a religious university, we have an added element that other universities don't have–we often draw connections between our academic subjects and our religious beliefs. I have loved being able to discuss with my peers not only the vast academic potential these students have but also their worth and divine potential in the eyes of Heavenly Father. By incorporating my religious views into the way I approach my teaching helps me to be more patient and loving towards my students when I see them as children of God."
BYU truly is lucky to have Allie Elison as a part of the Special Education program and her future students will benefit greatly from her time as a BYU Cougar.