October 31, 2016
Writer: Spring 2016 English 452 Students
An Unexpected Journey: Tim Wiseman
Tim Wiseman loves being a teacher, but a teaching degree wasn’t always his plan. Like many students, Wiseman went through a few changes in his major: when he first started at BYU-Idaho, his emphasis was creative writing, and then he switched to graphic design, but graphic design didn’t suit him either.
“I was talking to [my mom] about how I’m just not really feeling [graphic design], and she said ‘Have you ever thought about being a teacher?’ and I kid you not, I just laughed like ‘yeah right.’ Then I was lying in bed that night and all the sudden I had my whole life flash before my eyes, and I realized I teach people stuff all the time. As a matter of fact, I am always eager to explain to somebody how to properly do something and I realized ‘Oh my gosh, I’ve been a teacher my whole life.’”
Right after graduating from BYU-Idaho, Wiseman worked as a corporate trainer for four years in Texas. Shortly after marrying his wife, who he met at his corporate job, Wiseman got his first teaching position as a senior English teacher at Allen High School in Allen, Texas.
Wiseman’s advice for students seeking an English education degree is to “practice professionalism as a student at BYU-Idaho” and “build relationships with your professors.” “Practicing professionalism while in school includes living the honor code,” a somewhat controversial topic among students. Wiseman warns “if you can’t live the honor code [while in school], as a professional you’re going to have a difficult time.”
Wiseman strongly encourages building relationships with professors as “they are the ones who are going to get you your job” through recommendations and advice. Wiseman strongly believes in building relationships with students as well. In fact, the relationships he builds with his students is the most satisfying part of his job. “When they feel that I accept them for who they are, but at the same time I’m willing to challenge them, and not just let them slop off, my students come to me.”
Perhaps Wiseman was led by example. He believes that the professors’ genuine concern for their students’ well-being and success is one of the best perks of going to BYU-Idaho “I feel that the teachers help us not only to understand the content and the knowledge that is needed to be successful but the value that knowledge has for their students.”
Wiseman put a lot of thought and consideration into his decision to switch his major to English Education “I was talking to my friend because I was worried about the money. I said ‘I don’t know if I should do this. I want to provide for my family,’ and she said to me ‘I think your wife would want the Timothy Wiseman that Heavenly Father intended. And if that man is an English teacher, then so be it.’”
Wiseman listened to great advice, and in turn, gave great advice. Seek advice from parents and friends, be professional, and build relationships with the people around you.