Being a student in the TEE major, I have learned that everyone has a story for how they stumbled upon TEE. Not very many people come to college expecting to be in this major, so it has been interesting to learn how we all got here.
So for my inaugural reflection post, I wanted to record my story of how I found TEE and why I want to be a teacher.
I guess the story starts when I was a Junior in high school (2009-2010). This is when people start to ask you about your college plans and what you “want to be when you grow up.” For a while I told people I wanted to do graphic design, but I always got negative feedback when I told that to people. They always told me I was smarter than that and I should “do something more” (like engineering).
After some more pondering and researching, I discovered Industrial Design. I really liked the idea of Industrial Design because I thought of it as a hands-on application of graphic design, where you can see how your designs impact the world around you as products, and not just as posters on a wall. Additionally, when I told people I was interested in Industrial Design, I got a lot more positive responses (although that effect was probably from ignorance on their end). It was also a bonus that BYU had an Industrial Design program. So that was that. I was going to go to BYU and study Industrial Design. (And thank goodness for getting into both BYU and the Industrial Design pre-req classes.)
Fast forward to my freshman year at BYU (Fall 2012). I am sitting in my first Industrial Design class with Brother Howell. (It might have even been my first college class ever. I’m not sure.) And the whole class turns out to be a discussion on the definition of beauty. And basically we defined beauty as the golden ratio and how everything God creates is the epitome of beauty and how the purpose of our designs is to capture beauty as best we can.
Honestly, it freaked me out. I left that class feeling like I could never succeed because I was never going to be able to create something that even approached the beauty of God’s creations.
As I look back on it now, that was my first hint that Industrial Design was not for me. It just didn’t feel right from the very beginning.
I ended up going through with all the classes, but it was a stressful experience, and I was not as good at it as everyone else in the class. I also did not get into the real Industrial Design program, but it was okay because I didn’t want to get in anyway.
But I was back at square one (This was summer of 2013). I had no idea what I wanted to do. I could do whatever I wanted. I have interest in just about everything, so it was very difficult trying to narrow it down. I had kind of narrowed it down to something in Business (because my dad wanted me to do business), Manufacturing Engineering Technology (because I like learning how things are made), and something in Education (because of an experience I had*). I literally looked at the list of every major offered at BYU and went one by one categorizing them into “No,” “Maybe,” and “I could see myself doing this.” It was then that I discovered Technology and Engineering Education. (It’s at the very bottom of the list of majors because it starts with “T.”) It excited me, but I still wasn’t sold on being a teacher, so in the end, I registered for Accounting 200, Manufacturing 130, and TEE 125 to see if taking those classes would help me decide.
*The experience I had was this: I watched the Hastening the Work of Salvation broadcast that summer, and Elder Packer spoke about teaching and how he decided to be a teacher. I really felt the Spirit, and that was when the seed was planted that maybe I was supposed to be a teacher. (Link to Elder Packer’s talk here.)
Fall 2013 comes along and I am signed up for those 3 intro classes. Just like it took one class of Industrial Design to know it wasn’t for me, it only took one class of TEE to know that was where I was supposed to be.
So here I am. Honestly, I am still scared to death to be a teacher, but I am willing to give it a try. I know that I am an introvert, which is one reason why I never thought I would go into teaching, but I read a book called Quiet by Susan Cain that empowers introverts and made me feel like my personality could be valuable in addressing the “Extrovert Ideal” that often exists in the classroom.
Furthermore, as cliché as it is, I also want to teach because I know it is important and valuable to our society. I know it is a great responsibility. I know that it will be hard work, but that the results will be worth it. It also helps that I love the subject matter and regret not learning most of it in my own middle school/high school experience.
I think that’s it. There’s my saga.
(I think this is more for my posterity’s sake than for an assignment, but I think that’s how it should be. Assignments that have meaning are greater than ones that don’t. I can reflect on that part of my teaching philosophy another time…)