Lorna Reed is a good example of someone who is active in her pursuit of lifelong teaching and learning. After sending nine children to college, Reed has decided to go back to school herself to get her teaching certificate through the McKay School of Education.

Reed graduated in 1978 from BYU with a degree in interior environment. She has since returned to school and is currently taking classes through the McKay School. She plans to student teach next semester and eventually earn a teaching certificate in elementary education.

Her inspiration to go back to school and earn her teaching license began with a talk given by Boyd K. Packer many years ago at the McKay Symposium, when the College of Education was changed to the McKay School of Education.

“As Boyd K. Packer spoke there was a strong spirit in the room,” Reed said. “His words began to sink deep into my heart, and he encouraged people to go into teaching to help in the schools. The talk made a great impression on my mind and heart. I remember feeling the spirit and thinking that some day, after raising my children, I would go back to pursue a teaching certificate and teach in the schools.”

Although Reed did not originally graduate with a teaching degree, she has always been a teacher. Her teaching career began when she became a mother. “It was most important to teach my children the gospel. That is what I did after graduation. I sought out the children’s individual gifts and interests and tried to help them with resources and guidance to learn those things they wanted to learn,” she explained.

Lorna Reed's familyReed implemented simple teaching methods to help her children learn and gain a clear perspective on the gospel of Jesus Christ. Reed explained that she “looked to the prophets for guidance in raising the children.” The following are some of the ways she taught her children the gospel through the prophets’ teachings.

  • “President Kimball said to put a picture of the temple in your children’s rooms. We had the children choose temple photographs to put above their light switch in their rooms.”
  • “President Benson wanted [children] to read the Book of Mormon to bond with it when they were young. All nine of the children read the Book of Mormon by 12 years of age. I drew pictures on scripture verses throughout the Book of Mormon, especially so they could get through Second Nephi.”
  • “President Hinckley counseled, as have other prophets, to have a place for good books and to make a library. I collected biographies of the prophets; I bought a set of Teachings of the Prophets. We referred to this set through the years when questions arose.”
  • “I heard Dallin H. Oaks encourage parents to teach their children Chinese, so I found a tutor from Beijing, China. One of my children learned Mandarin Chinese, and he later went to Taiwan on his mission.”
  • “I read the talk by Boyd K. Packer about the ‘Snow White Birds’ and determined I wanted to teach the children faith so they could fly. I closely studied the words of the current prophet and used his teachings as a guideline to know the most important things my children should learn."

These are just a few of many ideas Reed has implemented in her home. She is someone who is determined to make a difference through her teaching.

Being a teacher is an important role for Reed. “To me, to be a teacher, you must inspire your students to fulfill their missions with their own special gifts they have been given,” Reed explained. “Teaching is to strive your best to teach others the way the Savior would teach them. It is to build faith and to teach them to follow the Lord and his prophets. A friend of mine said that you want to teach children to look for beauty because that is where the light can be seen.”

Reed is an inspiration to many as she goes back to school and expands her teaching role. To learn how the McKay School has influenced and uplifted Lorna Reed’s teaching and learning experiences, look for more information in our follow-up segment By Small and Simple Things.

For more on Reed, check out part 2 of her story.