Teaching is needed in all places and for all people. From working with preschool children to teaching university students, working in and out of the country, McKay alumna Dorie Haws understands this need and has gained perspective from meeting it. Haws graduated from BYU with an elementary education degree in 1990.
After teaching at Grandview Elementary her first year out of college, she went to Japan to teach. “I had a minor in Japanese and decided I wanted to use my language skills again,” Haws explained.
Upon returning to the States and Grandview Elementary two years later, Haws went back to BYU to earn her early childhood teaching certification. After seven more years at Grandview, she was hired as the first clinical faculty associate (CFA) in early childhood education at BYU. “Working as a CFA helped me understand better how to mentor and supervise college students, but I also found that I missed working in the classroom immensely,” Haws said.
After two years as a CFA, Haws went to work full time as head teacher trainer in the Child and Family Studies Laboratory. She has been working there for the last 14 years. “I absolutely love coming to ‘school’ every day, as I get to practice what I preach to the university students,” Haws said. “I often refer to my job as Mecca because I really do have the best of both worlds.”
With a variety of teaching experiences—from being a regular classroom teacher, to teaching in Japan, to working as a head teacher trainer in a university laboratory preschool—Haws has gained important insight about the field of education. Here are some of her thoughts on teaching.
“My varied teaching experiences have taught me that teaching is really about the individual, whether a preschooler, a child in a multi-age classroom, a third grader, an upper-grade choir student, or a university student. As humans, we all have a desire to learn, but we need people in our lives to help learning come alive!”
My [work] as a teacher of all ages has provided many opportunities for me to interact with the individual. Even though there are boundaries in life we live by, each person has a story and needs someone to understand—not to change the boundary or expectation, but to understand and help. For students at any stage in their development, this never changes. Understanding takes time from my teaching schedule, but when time is given, many other issues or problems are often solved. I really do believe that my job as a teacher and instructor is to help students understand their potential and then give them the tools to reach that potential! When their needs are met in each domain of their lives, learning will come alive and the seed will have been planted to be a life-long learner.”