Since this is my first Relief Society lesson at The Exponent, I thought I’d start by quickly describing my philosophy for teaching in the LDS church. Since this is a church with a lay ministry, in LDS classrooms everyone is a teacher and everyone is a learner. I believe when I’m teaching a lesson, even though I’ve prepared thoughts on the topic of the day, I don’t necessarily have the best insight into any of the points in the lesson. The class members are often my teachers, and I’m a learner in the lesson as much as they are. Which means I see myself as not so much a teacher but as a facilitator. My most important job is to ask good questions, give people time to think about them, and, as much as possible, ask good follow-up questions. I also generally avoid commenting on other people’s comments. Some teachers do well at asking questions that provoke insightful comments, but seem to feel obligated to follow up with their own commentary on them, which rarely adds much to the original comment. So I usually just say “thank you” when people are finished speaking.
So thank you for letting me soap box for a paragraph. Now, here are my thoughts on this lesson. (Note I’ve put quotes from the manual in italics, rather than explaining each time that they’re from Lorenzo Snow.)
First, it’s interesting to find this statement at the end of the lesson:
Teaching Help: “[Avoid] the temptation to cover too much material. … We are teaching people, not subject matter per se; and … every lesson outline that I have ever seen will inevitably have more in it than we can possibly cover in the allotted time” (Jeffrey R. Holland, “Teaching and Learning in the Church,” Ensign, June 2007, 91).