Learning to love learning: The Power of Teaching program

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Brad Wilcox, a Teacher Education professor and author of various books, created Power of Teaching, a program that encourages others to be effective teachers and to love learning.

“The Power of Teaching lectures are an effort to validate those who are already education majors and to recruit more students for the program,” Wilcox said.

power to teach
A teacher assistant for the BYU preschool, Aubrey Reese, shows how she reads to her class. (Photo by Ari Davis)

The program provides two lectures every semester that encourage teachers to align the spiritual aspect of teaching with class material. This program has been an effective tool in the lives of many, and recruiting students has been a positive experience.

“I attended (BYU) when Boyd K. Packer spoke at the David O. McKay Symposium and they changed the college of education into the school of education,” said Lorna Reed, a graduate of BYU currently getting a post-bachelor degree in elementary education and also a mother of nine children. “The Spirit was so strong in the room … and (as) he encouraged people to go into teaching to help in the schools, I thought, ‘Someday when I get through raising my children, I am going to come back and get a teaching certificate.’ So I am still working on it.”

Reed is an example of someone who is motivated and inspired by the Power of Teaching lectures.

“I even go back and look at the old ones because they are so motivating both for learning and for teaching,” Reed said. “To me it was a treasure chest as I found past lectures on video in the library — what an inspiration they were as I listened to one talk and then another. There was so much wisdom in those lectures.”

Even though Reed desires to get her teaching certificate, Power of Teaching looks beyond certification requirements, according to Wilcox. It aims at the heart of teaching and helps people understand why they should teach.

Wilcox explained that Power of Teaching is an effective tool as it allows students to “hear personal stories, learn why people became teachers and compare how they feel with how others feel about being a teacher.”

Reed came back to attend the most recent lecture for this year’s series, which was presented by Bob Wadley. He shared a powerful presentation about the four steps to learn how to love learning and to inspire others to do the same.

Bob Wadley speaks at the September lecture of Power of Teaching. Photo by Ari Davis
Bob Wadley speaks at the September lecture of Power of Teaching. (Photo by Ari Davis)

“If the teachers don’t love learning within their classroom, then the students are not going to either. The teachers set the stage, atmosphere and climate within their classroom,” said Bob Wadley, instructor in mathematics education.

Wadley explained that the four steps are, first, discover gifts and talents and understand weaknesses; second, use that information to be an influence for good; third, follow the Lord’s model for teaching and seek the blessings that follow; and lastly, enjoy the journey.

“I wanted students to know that there are things they can do to learn to love learning and they can teach their children to learn to love learning. It always starts with the teacher,” Wadley said.

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