I am currently Young Men President in my Ward, and in order to give the Young Men ample opportunity to learn to teach by basically rotating the responsibility of who teaches each week from person to person. (We do combined Priests and Teachers, so there are 8 guys between 14 and 18) I’ve been doing this for about 6 months now, and teaching hasn’t really improved much.
We currently have 3 rules:
- Don’t Suck
- Don’t be Boring
- When paraphrasing a scriptural story, don’t attribute the curse words to members of the Godhead
While the third rule was instituted due to a specific lesson, the other two rules have existed from the beginning, and I even gave a series of lessons prior to that on leadership and then on teaching a lesson. I think it is time to revisit the topic though, as my initial lesson used the following basic concepts (which I will now explain why those concepts haven’t worked out so well)
Use media- YouTube clips, power point presentations, pictures, etc, are great ways to get your audience’s attention. The problem though is that most Young people or old people do not have a laptop they can bring to class to show YouTube clips or power points, or a computer/printer with which to obtain pictures.
Be Personal- Personal experiences can bring us into unity and drive home applying the gospel with one another, but my Young men either don’t see how to apply their personal experiences to the Gospel topics at hand, or don’t really have relevant personal experiences.
Teach things that are new and exciting or in new and exciting ways- take the topic and apply it apply it in a new and interesting way. When I first starting working with these guys (when the 18 year olds were 14) as a Sunday school teacher, and they wouldnâ€™t pay attention to me, I stopped our second lesson together and I said, ok guys, what can I do to make you give a crap about what I’m saying, and they told me to teach them things they didn’t already know. So I spent hours every week trying to figure out things they didn’t know, and figuring out ways to talk about the atonement, or self-deception, or interdependence, or whatever I could think of that would keep their attention. Some were successes, others failed, but the basic idea held. My Young Men don’t know what they don’t know, and since their sources of learning are all the same (Seminary, me, etc) they aren’t learning new things in relation to the Gospel on their own.
Now I think these are the topics I need to focus on
- Don’t be apatheitc, actually be prepared, think about the lesson before class (ie- don’™t be lukewarm)
- Don’t EVER read from the manual in class
- Make your lesson have a point and make that point sticky
- Cut in and take control
- Teach by the spirit
So I need your help.
Anyone know of any good youtube clips, or pictures, or stories which show good and bad examples of teaching?
Also I am open to suggestions on how to teach this lesson. Think of it this way, the future of the church depends on it.