Dr. Steven Baugh Delivers McKay School Commencement Address
Baugh addresses McKay School graduates at commencement ceremony
Dr. Steven Baugh was the commencement speaker for the David O McKay School of Education graduation ceremony. His address poignantly focused on the importance of being fully devoted to using the power of education to better society.
Baugh, an associate professor in the Department of Educational Leadership and Foundations, serves as the director of the Center for Improvement of Teacher Education and as the executive director of the BYU-Public School Partnership.
Baugh began his commencement address by encouraging the graduates to practice a nurturing pedagogy – to care about what they teach, how they teach, and especially who we teach. “Think about caring for a baby. The little one must be fed; she must be changed; and she must be loved—fed, changed, loved—in whatever order is most appropriate at the time,” Baugh said. “It is the same for a teacher with is or her students. You are to feed them, love them, and help them make positive changes in their lives.”
Before becoming an public school administrator, Baugh taught mathematics for 10 years. Baugh shared with the graduates his top four reasons why he loved being a teacher:
1. Variety of content
2. Working with young people
3. Making a difference
4. Becoming a professional
Baugh invited the graduates to ponder upon their own reasons for becoming a teacher and encouraged them to reflect upon those reasons often, especially when they feel overwhelmed or discouraged.
Additionally, Baugh asked the students not to forget those who helped them reach their educational goals. “Remember your teachers. They remember you. Who helped you become who you are? Some of those were teachers,” Baugh said.
The strongest point Baugh sought to emphasize in his address was the importance of understanding the two purposes of schools in our nation. Baugh taught that the first purpose of schools is to provide individuals with the knowledge and skills they need to “gain employment, do productive, honest work so they will be able to provide for themselves and their families.”
Baugh emphasized that the second purpose of schools for our nation is a public purpose. He described that purpose saying, “Schools should be places where our children and youth learn how to become good citizens in our communities and our nation. Where they practice civility. Where they learn to think about the welfare of others, not just themselves.”
Baugh closed his address by issuing an invitation to the graduates. He said, “This applies directly to each one of you. I invite you to make your classroom (and your school and community) a place where you strive daily to meet both purposes. A good steward would do this. Someone who practices nurturing pedagogy would do this. Someone determined to provide access to knowledge for each of his or her students would do this. You are that kind of educator.”
August 21, 2012