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Executive Student Fine Tunes Teaching Philosophy


Attending school while working full time has been a challenge for Paul Barth, a student in the Executive School Leadership program. But for Barth, a fourth-year psychology teacher at Timpanogos High School in Orem, it is all part of the journey.

Barth was born in Turlock, California, and moved at age nine with his family to Utah, where he has lived since. His mother was an elementary school teacher. “She really instilled in me the importance of being educated and pursuing knowledge,” Barth said.

Barth served a mission right after high school, developing a deeper love for learning and teaching. This love, as well as the values BYU represents, is what led him to choose BYU. He graduated from BYU in 2007 with a bachelor’s degree in social science teaching.

After graduating from BYU, Barth focused first on getting into real estate so he could have a supplemental income. He then taught for one year at Provo Canyon School, a residential treatment facility for students from all over the nation.

When Barth received an offer to teach at Timpanogos High School, he was ecstatic to be returning to the school where he had completed his student teaching. “Timpanogos has such a positive culture and environment for learning,” Barth said. “It is led by an incredible leader who deeply cares about the success of our students.”

Barth felt as though this ideal of learning and teaching in such a positive environment was what attracted him to the McKay School. He loves the EDLF program’s focus on developing leadership skills. He feels as though the classes are helping him to reflect and analyze his teaching philosophy.

Working full time while going through the program has been very challenging but rewarding for Barth. “I have amazing people in the program with me,” he said. “We have grown together and shared important insights that have really helped me with my teaching.”

Barth has been able to apply what he is learning in the program to his current teaching position at Timpanogos. The classes he teaches include psychology, AP psychology, and sports psychology. Barth loves teaching psychology because he finds so much application to everyday life. He believes that intelligence can be developed in various ways, and he wants to make his classroom a special learning environment.

“My hope for students in my classroom is that they not only learn the content material but, more important[ly], learn how to do hard things and overcome challenges through finding solutions.”

Barth feels that his McKay School education has helped him improve at his current job and has given him an important new perspective on learning. “It has allowed me to network with people in leadership positions and has put me in a great position to move into pursuing my goal of working in administration,” he explained.