The Teacher Education Department at BYU offers a comprehensive master of arts degree for current teachers interested in improving teaching skills, conducting research, or creating a pipeline to a doctoral program.
As a physical education and health teacher of five years, I began to feel stagnant. I knew that in order to keep my program and classes progressive, I would have to actively seek out more training. I was thrilled with the opportunity to start the teacher education master’s degree in the David O. McKay School. This would allow me to keep my job and continue my education in the evenings.
The program was the best thing I could have done for myself and for my career. It allowed me to expand my thoughts to all areas of education, including teaching philosophy and democracy in the classroom, while simultaneously giving me in-depth knowledge of my specific subject area. The things I learned throughout my graduate education became specific parts of how I taught my classes moving forward. These changes made my career more meaningful and improved the depth of education for my students.
In addition to the great classes I was blessed to be a part of, the experience gave me the opportunity to research with some of the best in my field. I was able to work on and publish articles alongside my professors and colleagues. In fact, following my graduate studies at BYU, I went on for a doctoral degree. I found that I had much more research and publishing experience than the other doctoral candidates in my program and I was much better prepared for the tasks placed on me.
Although BYU provided me with an incredible education and prepared me to be a better teacher and student, the relationships I built while there will always be what I remember and cherish about my time as a graduate student. The time I spent with my colleagues and professors learning, traveling to conferences, presenting, working on projects, and supporting each other was invaluable. During my two years as a graduate student at BYU, I built relationships that will last for an entire lifetime. I will be forever grateful for the people I met along the way.
Whether you are looking to improve your own teaching skills, get new ideas for your classroom, make a lane change on your salary, learn to research, or go on for a doctoral education, BYU's [master of arts in] teacher education program has something for everyone. This program provided the opportunity for me to do exactly what the university asks of all of us, “Enter to Learn, Go Forth to Serve.”
The McKay School’s teacher education graduate program has made a lasting impact on my life. I became part of an educational community where I was able to build professional relationships and make lifelong friends. Coursework was challenging, but the process of analyzing educational practices and reading research helped me reflect on and improve my teaching practice. Writing a thesis was extremely rewarding and helped me prepare for a future doctoral degree. During the program, I also had the opportunity to travel and present at several national and state conferences. These experiences were invaluable to me and I will always appreciate the quality education I received at BYU.