Make Your Life a Calling
Students in the McKay School of Education gathered at the start of winter semester for the third Power of Teaching lecture this academic year. David Boren, from the Education Leadership and Foundations Department, inspired those in attendance with his insights on following the Lord’s plan.
Boren shared how he began his career in education when he was a student at Brigham Young University. Like many students, he struggled to decide which career path to pursue. At the time, Boren was teaching at the Missionary Training Center and loved it, so his mother suggested that he explore earning a degree in teaching. He initially fought against this advice because it did not align with the life plan he had personally envisioned. His plan finally changed when his mother challenged him to make his life a mission for the Lord. With this in mind, Boren began his journey.
“‘I know that the Lord has a plan for us in this life. He knows us. He knows what is best for us. Just because things are going well does not mean that we should not from time to time consider whether there might be something better,’” Boren said, quoting Elder Carlos A. Godoy.
At the start of his career, Boren experienced self-doubt and discouragement, but he continued to press forward by putting his faith in God and believing that things would work out. His faith led him to pursue student teaching in China, where he was able to bring new light to the learning process for many of his students.
“It was really fun to work with those students and just give them joy in learning,” Boren said. “Some of them had never experienced joy in learning; it was all about work and drudgery.”
When Boren’s classroom experience began in America, he was surprised to find that, despite the innate magic he found in teaching, the classroom was also a place of hardship. His students were dealing with the deaths of loved ones, learning struggles, even poverty. Boren once again experienced feelings of inadequacy as he struggled to uphold his responsibilities as a teacher. Turning to the Lord in his time of trial eased his self-doubt, Boren explained.
“I absolutely testify that the Lord is adequate, that these are His children, He loves them, and He will use you as an instrument in His hands to bless their lives,” Boren said. “The power of a teacher is really the power of God.”
In conclusion, Boren extended his mother’s challenge to his audience, asking them to make their lives missions for the Lord.
“This life is a mission. We get transferred. The Lord, if we’re open to it and will listen, . . . will transfer us where he needs us,” said Boren. “If the Lord tells you to do something, He will provide a way.”
Boren is an assistant clinical professor in the Education Leadership and Foundations Department at BYU. Before he came to BYU, he taught third and fourth grade for five years collectively, worked as an assistant principal for three years, and then served as the principal of Scera Park Elementary School for four years. He earned a bachelor’s degree in elementary education, a master’s of education, and a doctorate in educational leadership, all from BYU. Boren is currently conducting research about the best practices in supporting graduates of educational leadership programs after they graduate.
The full Power of Teaching lecture is available to watch on the McKay School Vimeo page.
Writer: Camilla Nielsen
Contact: Cindy Glad (801) 422-1922