Originally from Mexico, Geovanni Guzman assumed that because of his cultural background and TESOL degree, he would end up teaching outside of Utah. But since graduating from BYU in 2006, Guzman has been employed in Provo School District—first at the Utah State Hospital and currently at Franklin Elementary School.
Recently Guzman was the recipient of the H. Kenton Reavis Special Educator Award for 2008 from the Utah chapter of the Council for Children with Behavioral Disorders (CCBD). “I feel honored to receive this award from such a caring institution,” he expressed. The purpose of the award is to honor individuals who work with students with severe behavioral disorders.
As he worked toward a bachelor’s degree in special education and TESOL K–12, Guzman enjoyed the wholesome atmosphere of BYU. “At BYU I learned that the principles of the gospel are applicable in educational settings,” he commented. “It doesn’t mean that I teach religion, but as a teacher I can keep a safe environment based on respect and accountability.” Additionally, Guzman appreciates being taught to maintain positive interactions with students and staff members.
Guzman remembers that during a particularly difficult semester at BYU, he experienced stress relief by laughing at a video shown in one of his classes. “The video was funny, but not that funny,” he recalled. “Everybody was laughing at me because I couldn’t stop laughing. I learned that humor is important in learning.”
In his teaching career, Guzman relishes opportunities to work with a variety of students. “I have enjoyed the opportunity to meet with children from different backgrounds and see their potential when I interact with them,” he explained. “They are great.” Guzman spends his free time with his wife, Gina, and their three daughters. He also enjoys experimenting with educational technology, and he plans to someday write a book on the topic of diversity.
January 7, 2009