By Carly Campbell
Teachers need to be able to laugh at themselves and encourage students to do the same, ABC 4”s weatherman, Clayton Brough told BYU education majors when he accepted the Honored Alumi award Thursday.
Many honored alumni came to campus to speak to students during homecoming week festivities. Clayton Brough spoke on how he took lessons from BYU and passed them on to his students.
“If we don”t have humor then we really can”t teach,” Brough said. “I laugh at myself and since there is a lot to laugh about, I let my students do it as well.”
Brough has faced a number of storms in his time, but recently had to fight for his life.
He was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin”s lymphoma in early May. Shortly after the diagnosis, he underwent surgery to remove a tumor the size of a tennis ball, which was wrapped around his small intestine.
Although he is undergoing chemotherapy treatments, he still maintains his sense of humor.
“The Clayton Brough you see on the weather report is not the one you see standing before you,” Brough said. “I have a little less hair.”
Besides his role as a weather forecaster, Brough is also a devoted and happy teacher of ninth-graders at Eisenhower Junior High in Taylorsville. He has a bachelor”s degree and a master”s degree in geography from BYU, but he also teaches journalism and science.
Dr. Winn Egan, department chair of teacher education, said Brough has blessed the lives hundreds of students over the years.
“His teaching at its heart is relationship driven,” Egan said. “Students sense his commitment to them and their learning.”
His humor is reflected in his teaching methods along with his ability to make each student feel important.
Jessica Williams, a sophomore from Chicago, Ill., said Brough is the kind of teacher that has helped her succeed in her classes.
“They”re the teachers who know your name and take time with you outside of class,” Williams said. “They help you to feel like your on they”re level and the class isn”t just they”re set curriculum.”
Brough said teachers should learn to respect and love each individual they teach.
“Encourage them to see the best in themselves, others, and everything around them,” Brough said.
Student and teacher relationships have come a long way in education. Brough remembered a teacher who would slap a yardstick on a desk if you fell asleep or even answered wrong.
“It seems like there is a greater emphasis now on teachers interacting with the students outside of class then there was when I was a student,” said Terry Stevens, a BYU alumnus who graduated in 1964 in psychology.
If there is anything students take from their education, Brough said it should be to dream big.
“If you don”t have the ability to imagine what you could be, you won”t be,” Brough said.