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Crossover between two sacred callings

The education Alicia Ann Hutchings Sorensen received at the McKay School of Education over a decade ago has transferred to not only the classroom but also to her role as a mother.

Sorensen graduated from BYU in 2001 in elementary education with an emphasis in early childhood. She has experience teaching kindergarten, language arts, social studies, in-home preschool, and coaching basketball and softball.

Looking back, Sorensen feels she’s mostly been a mother to her five children and a wife to her husband, and her education has helped her improve and grow in those roles.

“It has made me a better mother—from understanding my children’s development to a love of reading, [and] to the style of learning and discipline,” Sorensen said. “I am [on the] front line in their educational experience and [I] feel it has made a huge difference in their performance.”

Sorensen has been “hands-on” with her children’s education experience and served on PTO boards and blueprint committees for her children’s schools.

“I also feel it has given me a very special relationship with the teachers and schools—much more compassion, understanding, empathy, and expectation.”

This relationship has placed her in positions of influence to help communicate educational goals with parents. Sorensen remembers serving on a blueprint committee a few years back for the school district. The time came to evaluate goals, see what was accomplished, and rewrite if necessary.

Because of the difficult educational terminology, Sorensen was able to add clarity and define the new words for students and parents. This helped the goal-setting session be more effective because all were able to understand, share their opinions, and contribute.

Now she’s out of the classroom but still in the “trenches” of her children’s education experience. Sorensen is familiar with teaching strategies and what is to be expected and covered by both teacher and student.

“With that knowledge and take, I am able to help with homework in the classroom when possible and reinforce what my children have learned that day in school when they come home,” Sorensen said. “I know what is expected from my children by age and grade, and then I am able to ensure they meet those requirements—as well as push them further to the next natural progression.”

Sorensen’s time at BYU and with the McKay School has influenced her life in and out of the classroom. The rigorous program prepared her for the hard moments in her career and to be an influence for good.

“Quite literally, the [motto] of BYU is applicable to education. Education is serving! ‘Enter to learn, go forth to serve’ is so very, very true.”

Sorensen now works in real estate and continues to have a hands-on approach with her children’s education, which ranges from elementary school to high school.

Writer: Megan Bahr

Contact: Shauna Valentine (801) 422-8562