Brad Wilcox of the Department of Teacher Education in the David O. McKay School of Education honored past teachers and motivated future teachers in February’s Power of Teaching lecture.
“I wouldn’t even be here today if it weren’t for some other teachers in my life,” said Wilcox.
Wilcox discussed how he owes the path his life has taken to the teachers who influenced him. Wilcox honored Lloyd Eldredge and Beverly Cutler, both former BYU professors, by showing them appreciation with respectful words and gifts.
“I knew I loved kids, and I knew I loved teaching, but I just didn’t know how to go about the day-to-day of teaching,” said Wilcox. “That’s why I’m so grateful for teachers here at BYU that gave me the how-tos of teaching.”
Eldredge was one of Wilcox’s professors at BYU who made a difference in his life. Wilcox shared that he asked Eldredge in class once, “Is it okay if you do something that’s not in the teacher’s manual?”
Eldredge just smiled at him and said, “That’s the idea! You’re not just supposed to do what the manual tells you to do. Anyone can do that. You’re a professional teacher. You’re supposed to see what the kids need and meet those needs.”
“Those words from Lloyd Eldredge made a difference in the way I thought about teaching,” Wilcox said.
Wilcox invited Eldredge to share some thoughts with the students. Eldredge relayed something he learned long ago from the Prophet Joseph F. Smith: that in the last days, false educational ideas would be a significant threat to the members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
“We battle false educational ideas. Satan is very deceitful by teaching truths and then putting in some lies,” Eldredge said.
Cutler was a legendary professor at the McKay School of Education who also blessed Wilcox’s life. She spent twenty-six years at BYU developing future educators. She served three different missions for the Church in Spain, Romania, and Vietnam. She was among the first missionaries called to Romania and was selected because of her teaching expertise. Wilcox also asked her to share with the audience.
“I’ve been able to teach in informal and formal ways, and I’ve been so grateful to see what wonderful people there are here and throughout the world that want to be teachers,” said Cutler.
Cutler read a card she received from a student she taught at BYU. It read, “Thank you for caring about me and making me feel valuable.”
Future teachers participated in the lecture via Twitter with the hashtag #MSEPofT. @mal_pal04 expressed how impressive Eldredge and Cutler were when she tweeted, “I wanna be like Bev and Lloyd. #MSEPofT.”
Writer: Jordan Comstock
Contact: Cynthia Glad (801) 422-1922