“I became a teacher to change the world. I feel that one should give back and, in my case, I knew I wanted to work with kids. Being a minority male, I felt that I could exemplify important things for young kids during a crucial time in their development. Something I did not have until junior high.

My favorite thing about teaching is those “aha” moments when a child finally gets it, especially if it took perseverance and hard work.

I entered the U as an individual. However, my experience of being a part of something much larger than myself showed me the value of personal growth, but more importantly the possibilities when one is dedicated to the greater good.

The U taught me to trust in myself and that perseverance and attitude is everything. I have a poster in my room that states, ‘Attitude is a small thing that makes a huge difference.’ I truly believe that.

The football program has always been very open and available to me as an alumnus, a fan and a current coach. They have really focused on keeping ties to the past, as the program has come a long way since I sat in the stands my entire childhood.

I still keep in touch with old teammates. I coach with several and see many of them frequently, including Coach McBride.

I don’t recount the ‘glory days’ with my students. But they do know they have the fastest teacher ever! The one hard life lesson I still can’t give up—if you challenge me to a race, I’m going all out, slacks and dress shoes included.”

—Calbert Beck, B.A. ’96, M.Ed ’08, first-grade teacher

Former Utah football star Cal Beck now teaches at Parkside Elementary School in Murray, Utah.

We’ll be featuring Humans of the U and sharing their stories throughout the year with the university community. If you know someone with a compelling story, let us know at