Why do some teachers embarrass shy students

Engage Students: How to Encourage Participation in Class

A stake leader taught the elders quorum at the ward conference. Obviously he had put a lot of time and effort into the preparation, and there was sincerity in what he said. The quorum members, however, were inattentive; some even shifted restlessly back and forth. Why? After the closing prayer, the teacher thought about the lesson and realized that he had not included the group but had given a long monologue.

Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles recently shared the importance of improving gospel teaching: “So if our prophet calls for more faith by hearing the message, then we must make excellence Teaching in the church takes its place again. "(" 'A teacher who came from God' ", The star, July 1998, page 26.)

What Are Effective Gospel Lessons Like?

The role of the gospel teacher is “to help individuals take responsibility for learning the gospel - to instill in them, on the one hand, a desire to study, understand, and live the gospel, and him on the other hand to show how this is done. "( Teaching, the greatest calling, 1999, page 61.)

“The student has to learn by himself. And that is precisely why the student has to actively participate. "(Asahel D. Woodruff, Teaching the gospel(1962, 37). A good teacher focuses less on imparting knowledge and more on helping students develop their own desire for knowledge and inspiration.

We achieve little at home and in church if we simply want to "shower" others with knowledge and growth. In sacrament meeting, conferences, and other gatherings, the audience is generally not encouraged to cooperate. In class, however, we can follow the pattern that the Lord Himself set out for teaching in the school of the prophets: “Make one of you a teacher, and do not let all be spokesmen at once; but let only one speak and all others listen to his words, so that when everyone has spoken, everyone may have been edified by everyone and everyone has the same right. " (D&C 88: 122; emphasis added.)

How can students be encouraged to participate actively in gospel teaching?

1. Talk less

If the teacher speaks 90 percent of the class, he is likely talking too much. Of course, as a teacher, you have to provide explanations, instructions, examples, stories, testimonials, etc., but all of this is ultimately only intended to motivate the students to participate. Lessons are good when students talk 40 to 60 percent of the time. This will prevent you from giving a lecture or simply passing on information. Instead, you can act as a mediator and show students how to learn from the scriptures, from other students, and from the Spirit. Of course, you have to introduce the lesson, lay out the basics and, at the end, explain and summarize the teaching that has been discussed. In any case, you have to be careful not to spend too much time on this.

A Sunday School teacher had prepared a lesson on D&C 135–137. In class, however, students got into an interesting discussion about principles from section 135. Many students shared their views, shared their experiences, and shared their testimonies. The lesson time was over quickly. The teacher was disappointed at first, but then realized that the lessons had become so good because the students had cooperated.

“As a teacher, you should make sure that you don't break off a good discussion prematurely just because you absolutely want to go through all the material that you have prepared. It is not so much a matter of how much material is studied, but of helping participants feel the influence of the Spirit and learning the gospel better, that they learn to apply the gospel principles to themselves, and that they are committed to to live according to the gospel, be strengthened. "(" Leading and teaching in the gospel ", ManualChurch Instructions, Book 2: Priesthood Leaders and Auxiliary Leaders, Page 304.)

2. Ask Effective Questions

At the beginning of the lesson, invite a student to read a scripture or other quotation from the study materials. Then you can ask questions that elicit meaningful answers. Questions that can be answered with “yes” or “no”, questions whose answer is well known, and questions where students have to guess what you mean usually do not motivate to cooperate or to give meaningful answers. Instead, you can ask, for example:

  • What do these verses mean to you?

  • What gospel principles are expressed in verse ...?

  • How does ___________ help you understand the following?

  • What would you underline or mark in these verses? Why?

  • How would you say that in your own words?

  • What conclusions can be drawn from this?

  • How can this be used?

  • What are you thinking of that? What do you feel about it?

  • Would anyone like to testify or share their own experience with this principle?

The following are possible questions about teaching 1 Nephi 16:

  • What did each family member think when Nephi's bow was broken?

  • What verses illustrate how Nephi felt?

  • Does someone want to share about a difficult task or unfortunate situation that they could grow spiritually from?

  • Which verse in this chapter do you like best? Why?

Make sure that students have enough time to ponder and answer your questions, or to participate in the class. You can show students that silence doesn't have to be embarrassing by saying, “We'll take a few seconds to think about this topic, and if you want to answer, please raise your hand.” If the silence doesn't work for you then it doesn't matter to the students either. However, the teacher must not urge the students to talk about personal experiences or feelings if they do not want to do so on their own. Some experiences are too sacred to be talked about.

3. Give positive feedback

"You can build student confidence by responding positively to any sincere contribution."Teaching, the greatest calling, page 64.) The teacher may neither ridicule nor criticize questions, comments, feelings, experiences or testimonies. Rather, they must be polite, loving, and do their best to encourage student participation. You can make your students feel that their contributions are valuable and that their cooperation is important, even if you have occasional friendly needs to clear up teaching misunderstandings. Remember that students are taking interpersonal, emotional, and spiritual risks when they share personal insights. If you don't get positive feedback, you won't want to talk about something like that again anytime soon.

Don't worry too much if you think a student's comment is giving the class a direction that you didn't intend. If a remark is detrimental to the progress of the lesson, you can just say something positive about it, bring up a new topic, and ask the students again for answers. For example, you can respond to comments from students in the following ways:

  • Thanks for that comment.

  • You said nice!

  • Thank you for talking to us about your feelings.

You can also encourage students to cooperate by saying:

  • That's a good question. Who would like to answer that?

  • That is interesting. Please explain to us in more detail what you mean by that.

  • What made you realize this?

For example, when a student says something inappropriate or wrong, you can say:

  • Thanks. The principle you should now ponder is ...

  • I've heard that too. I understand it that way though ...

There are maybe one or two students who always get in touch and always have something to say. Be grateful for their willingness to cooperate. However, President Howard W. Hunter (1907–1995) said: “Don't fall into the trap of some teachers, who always call on students, who are smart, diligent, and always know the right answer. Watch out for those students who rarely show up, who are shy, reluctant, or maybe even mentally in trouble. Ask them questions. "( Eternal Investments [Address to religious educators, February 10, 1989].) The teacher may neither pressure nor force students who for any reason do not want to answer. He must not embarrass or cause discomfort in his attempts to involve all students.

The Gospel is Joyful to Teach

Effective teaching of the gospel requires humility and willingness not to be the center of attention. Instead, the students play the main role for him. Sister Virginia H. Pearce, former first counselor in the Young Women presidency, taught: “A good teacher does not want students who will share about their great and unusual teachers after class, but who will share the great gospel with them.” ordinary classrooms - a powerful environment for continuous growth ", The star(January 1997, page 12.)

The gospel of Jesus Christ is truly sublime, and we can strive to bring that sublimity to life by drawing on the knowledge, feelings, ideas, experiences, and testimonies of all students. If the gospel is taught effectively, all can be edified by all.

Jonn D. Claybaugh is president of the Costa Rica San Jose Mission. Amber Barlow Dahl is a member of the Centennial Ward, Eagle Idaho Stake.

Cooperation enables growth

“The more students do their reading assignments, the more they bring their scriptures to class, and the more they talk about what the gospel means specifically to them, the more inspiration, progress, and joy they will find, and they will strive to solve their worries and problems. ”- Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles (“ Teaching by the Spirit, ” Ensign(January 1989, page 15.)

The Students Teach, Not Just The Lesson

“A gospel teacher does not focus on himself. Understanding this principle does not see his or her role as 'teaching a lesson' because that view comes from the point of view of the teacher and not of the student.” - Elder Dallin H. Oaks of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles ("Gospel Lesson," Liahona, January 2000, p. 96.)