Sunday, April 22, 2012

Teaching

I've had a lot of opportunities to teach in my life. I am not a formally trained teacher but I've had years of experience teaching classes at Church. It has always been a privilege for me to be blessed with an opportunity to teach a class. I've taught children's classes, youth classes, adult classes, and women's classes. I always feel the weight of the responsibility of teaching and have tried very hard to teach in a way that the class would feel they were learning what the Lord would have them learn.

Yesterday I was asked to teach a class at a Relief Society "Super-Saturday" event. It was a four hour Relief Society social broken down to three one-hour class options and a lunch break in the middle. There were nine classes total to choose from. There was a gardening class, a flower arranging class, a wardrobe rescue class, a food storage class, a craft class, a bread making class, and a few others I can't remember right now. I was asked to teach a class on "making scripture study personal to you." I didn't think anyone would want to come to that class on a Saturday but they did. I was asked to teach it twice, once during the first hour and once during the last hour. Sixteen people showed up all together and two people asked for notes who wanted to attend but couldn't. I've taught many classes over he years but I was struck at the transformation in some of the students at the end of these classes more than my other classes in recent memory. We talked about the 'whys', 'hows', and 'whens' of scripture reading which was helpful but then I had the sisters do a hands-on activity. I asked them to break into two groups and to choose a topic about something they were struggling with or something they wanted to know the answer to. In the first class, they chose the topics "criticism" and "life after death." The second class chose "personal revelation" because someone was struggling with how to make a decision, and "joy" because someone was struggling with how to find joy in everyday life. What struck me was how each person in all four groups came away with a different answer to their question because THEY found an answer in the scriptures using a little guide I made up for them how to search. Everyone shared what they learned from their readings. Everybody shared something different even though they were reading the same things in their groups. Each person left the class with a huge smile on their face and a lilt in their voice. One person commented on how she always thought that God was too busy helping everybody else in the world and so He wouldn't take the time to bother with her. She looked like her whole world changed in just those few minutes as she found an answer personal to her in the scriptures.

I didn't do anything. I simply taught basic principles. It was a joy to see the transformations. Teaching is such a wonderful gift. I'm sure my daughters can echo the same thing.

Here's the little guide I wrote up. Maybe it will help someone else.

 Start off by choosing a topic about something you want to learn about or need an answer to:

1)      Start with a scripture you might already know about related to your question OR look in the topical guide and choose a scripture about it that seems interesting to you.  
2)      Look at footnotes related to THAT scripture and take notes as you are reading.  
3)      Also take notes about what you are learning as thoughts come to you.
      4)  Ponder as you go, especially if and when you go off tangent to a new subject. Ask yourself, "Why is God leading me there? What can I learn from this?"
      5)   What sweet nugget of inspiration came to your mind and heart or what comfort did God bless you with today because of your reading regarding your question or problem? Ponder that answer all day and feel God's love for you.
      6)  What personal answer did you get from God about the topic you were learning OR personal revelation about something in your life that you weren’t thinking about at the time?
      7) Return to the scriptures tomorrow and start again.

5 comments:

  1. I LOVE this. I am always looking for little helps. I would have loved your class. I am printing out these steps right now to put in my scriptures.

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  2. See if it helps you...good luck.

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  3. And it will help me teach an RS class on personal revelation in June. Thank you!

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  4. Hmmm. We need you to present this very class for our RS activity on June 21. Alas, flying you here is not within our very limited budger :( Sound so wonderful!!

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  5. I'll send you my Word Doc with all the info from the class and you can do it. You are kind.

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