"We Want BYU Student Teachers!"

A recent faculty meeting at Jackson Elementary School in Salt Lake City, the site of BYU’s Urban Cohort Program, revealed that BYU student teachers are wanted because of their awareness, enthusiasm, and management skills.

“If anyone has an opportunity to work with the BYU practicum students, they should jump at the opportunity and take it,” said Margaret Randall, a third grade teacher at Jackson. She described the BYU practicum students she has worked with as “fantastic, since many of them are very eager to be involved and to help.” She added, “They bring youth and energy into [the] classrooms.”

Recently BYU student teachers at Jackson exemplified strong management skills by taking control of the classroom when a music substitute failed to show up. “They were able to jump right in and take it by the reins,” Randall reported. She said that she had worked with many students from multiple schools, but that “these BYU students are some of the best prepared I’ve ever seen.” She recounted how amazed she was at the students’ knowledge, training, and overall quality.

McKenna Coleman, a sixth grade teacher at Jackson who was present at the faculty meeting, remarked, “It was a very positive message and really painted the program in a great light. Teachers notice these students and love them.” Coleman, who is a McKay alumna and a previous BYU practicum student herself, noted, “The preparation received at the McKay School is indispensable. The management and teaching skills learned truly set teachers up to be successful in the classroom.”

Coleman’s preparation through the McKay school has brought her much success in her classrooms. Both last year and this year, her classes have been some of the best behaved in the grade level and often in the school. She accredits this success to her mentors and professors at the McKay School, as well as her experiences as a member of the urban cohort program when she was an undergraduate. Speaking of her students’ successes last year, Coleman said, “Using the skills and strategies I was taught in the urban cohort program, I was able to, first, ignore the labels the other teachers attempted to pass on and, second, work with those students to create a classroom environment where [they] felt respected and safe.”

Coleman congratulated the McKay School on the excitement of Jackson Elementary over its practicum students, and exclaimed, “Now that the secret’s out, everyone will want the BYU student teachers!”

22 February 2010