Teaching is a varied field with countless roles for educators. Thus even when McKay graduates leave classroom settings, teaching often remains a part of their lives. For example, Beth Inouye has taken the skills she learned at the McKay School into several different teaching capacities.
Inouye graduated from BYU in April 2008 with a bachelor’s degree in elementary education and soon afterwards moved with her husband, Benjamin, to Los Angeles, California. After living in California for just one year, both Inouye and her husband accepted positions to teach in a small farming town in northeastern Colorado, where Inouye taught fourth grade for two years before leaving the classroom to be a teacher in different ways. “Even though I am not teaching elementary school right now, teaching is still very much a part of my life,” Inouye explained.
As an active member of the LDS Church with a child under two, Inouye never lacks opportunities to teach. She has been a primary teacher for the past two and a half years for children ages four to seven. She has also been a primary music leader and an early morning seminary teacher. Additionally, Inouye teaches during the summer at the Inouye Institute for the Arts. “Each summer my husband and I both participate, with members of his family, as teachers at a creative arts camp,” Inouye said. “At the camp we teach a variety of classes including music, visual arts, creative writing, movement, storytelling, etc.”
The training Inouye received at the McKay School of Education to become a teacher benefits her in her different teaching roles. “I apply the principles I have learned about good classroom management in all of my teaching situations in order to encourage positive behavior and cultivate a positive learning environment,” Inouye said. “As a primary teacher, a seminary teacher, and a mother, I do my best to meet the individual learning needs of my students and my child by being aware of their strengths and challenges and making appropriate accommodations to help meet those different learning needs.”
Inouye applies her McKay training in ways she did not expect. “I was surprised to discover how useful my math education classes were in preparing me to be a seminary teacher,” she said. “This past year, I was able to apply many of the same strategies as a seminary teacher in helping the students identify, understand, and apply gospel principles as I did as a fourth grade teacher helping students.”
Her continued efforts in teaching have taught Inouye that education is important in whatever you do. “You are surrounded by opportunities and people to teach wherever you go, whether it be in your family, neighborhood, community, church, etc.,” Inouye said. “Teachers can make a difference in the lives of others.”