"We strive to model the attributes of Jesus Christ, the Master Teacher, as we prepare professionals who educate with an eternal perspective."
--McKay School of Education Mission Statement
One of the wonderful parts about attending Brigham Young University is that we get to combine gospel learning with our professional training to become teachers. The McKay School of Education (MSE) faculty members strive to help students emulate the mission statement to become more like Christ. During this Easter season the Student Ambassadors reflected on our own journey as we learn to teach in the Savior's way and we want to share our thoughts, and thoughts from alumni, on how this mission statement impacts our journey to become an educator.
As many of us will become public school educators, we may not teach our students about Jesus Christ directly, but we can still help them feel of His love as we educate with an eternal perspective. Abbey Orr, elementary education major and MSE Student Ambassador, says she "hope[s] that when [her] students are around [her], they know Jesus Christ." She commented that "by modeling His attributes and maintaining an eternal perspective, [she] hopes [her] students feel the Spirit and come closer to Him." Another elementary education student and MSE Student Ambassador, Taylon Mann, commented on what it means to him to educate with this eternal perspective, "as we teach with the understanding proffered by the restored Gospel of Jesus Christ, it is clear that helping others progress eternally should be one of our highest priorities. We see our students as they truly are – sons and daughters of God, with unlimited potential. This truth pairs seamlessly with the aims of any good teacher."
With an eternal perspective on education, we can act as Christ would and model attributes of the Master
Teacher. MSE Student Ambassador Sheily Webster echos this and says, "Christ taught with kindness, love, forgiveness, and focused on the one. I’ve had experiences with teachers that make me feel like more than just a student in their class, but like a friend. Which is what Christ is to each of us." Taylon Mann has also been impacted by the way faculty members interact with him, and observes: "they are great emulators of the Savior."
Not only do McKay School student train to be educators, but we are able to cultivate divine qualities and emulate Christ. MSE Student Ambassador Taylor Baird says she has 'learned most of Christ’s attributes, not through the classwork or assignments that we have been given, but through the experiences [she has] had with [her] cohort and teachers." Ambassador Emily Hunter also says, "to me, the MSE mission statement shows me how I can work towards my goal of being a teacher while also working towards my personal goal of becoming more like the Savior." Each course taken in the MSE is not only meant to prepare us to be educators, but also to prepare us to reunite with the Savior as we "emulate Him in all things," says student ambassador Austin Brower.
Teaching is a noble cause and a spiritual work because we work alongside the Master teacher, our Savior Jesus Christ. Emma Moss, MSE alumni, talks about how being a teacher has not only been her career, but the way she has been brought closer to Jesus Christ: "As I think of my life, I realize He is my advocate, a “co-teacher” and curriculum designer with Heavenly Father. And now I realize Heavenly Father wanted me to be a teacher so I could learn more of His Son, Jesus Christ. So now when I step into my classroom, I think of the words of the Primary song: 'I’m trying to be like Jesus; I’m following in his ways.' And I love my students like He would."
If you are already part of the MSE, we invite you to think of how the mission statement has impacted your life! If you are not already part of the MSE, explore our majors and consider joining us!