Emphasis on teaching to be renewed in wards

The Church is renewing its emphasis on teaching, according to a letter to priesthood leaders from Church headquarters.

Accompanying the letter are new instructions for priesthood and auxiliary leaders on Teacher Development. The instructions authorize the calling of a ward Teacher Development Coordinator, and the holding of ward quarterly teacher training meetings. These replace all other auxiliary teacher in-service meetings.The new instructions provide "a revised and simplified approach to teacher training in the Church," the letter states. "We ask all priesthood and auxiliary leaders to prayerfully implement this renewed emphasis on teaching."

The instructions note that "during months when this training meeting is held, the Sunday School quarterly ward faculty meeting, the Relief Society ward board meeting, and ward Primary leadership meeting should not be held. Teacher in-service training is no longer a part of auxiliary leadership training meetings.

"These instructions replace some previous materials on teacher development and teacher in-service training. . . ."

According to the guidelines, "All teaching in the Church should prepare individual members to help accomplish the mission of the Church, which is to invite all to come unto Christ,' (D&C 20:59) andbe perfected in Him.' (Moro. 10:32).

"This mission has three dimensions:

"1. Proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ to every nation, kindred, tongue and people.

"2. Perfect the saints by preparing them to receive the ordinances of the gospel and by caring for the poor and needy.

"3. Redeem the dead by performing vicarious ordinances of the gospel for them.

"The purpose of teacher development in the Church is to:

"1. Help members teach the gospel effectively.

"2. Continually train and support priesthood and auxiliary teachers.

"To be a teacher is a great and sacred responsibility. To be an effective teacher, a member must live worthy for the influence and direction of the Spirit and must make prayerful preparation. The Lord has counseled, If ye receive not the Spirit ye shall not teach.' (D&C 42:14.) It is this Spirit that teaches usall things.' (Moro. 10:5.) When both the learner and teacher are filled with the Spirit, `both are edified and rejoice together.' (D&C 50:22.) No learner or teacher should attempt to receive or convey an understanding of the gospel without the Spirit. . . .

"The teacher development coordinator:

"1. Conducts the basic course during Sunday School as needed.

"2. Organizes and conducts teacher training meetings quarterly for all teachers of all priesthood and auxiliary organizations in the unit. (Priesthood and auxiliary leaders could provide additional training for their teachers as part of this meeting.)

"3. Encourages the bishop or branch president to make teacher development a regular agenda item at ward council meetings. . . .

"The teacher development coordinator organizes and conducts a teacher training meeting quarterly for all teachers in the unit. This meeting should not be held during the regular Sunday meeting schedule. The program should be flexible. . . .

"The manual for the Teacher Development Basic Course and the quarterly teacher training meeting is Teaching - No Greater Call. If possible, all teachers and leaders should have a personal copy of this manual.

"Priesthood and auxiliary leaders are responsible for teaching in their own organization. They should support teachers with sensitivity and great love. This support should include:

"1. Visiting classrooms regularly, as scheduled with the teacher.

"2. Interviewing teachers periodically to learn their needs and the needs of class members.

"3. Consulting with teachers and class members, both to encourage and to assist.

"4. Being a resource to teachers.

"The teacher development coordinator could be invited to assist with this support under the priesthood or auxiliary leader's direction. A video cassette, Teach One Another (VHS53148), is available at Church Distribution Centers. It contains six motivating video classics to help bring about quality teaching."


Traits of a good teacher

Seeks and heeds the promptings of the Spirit of the Lord. (See 1 Cor. 2:10-12; D&C 42:14.)

Lives as an example of obedience and humility. (See Mosiah 23:14.)

Teaches the principles of the gospel in their purity. (See 3 Ne. 27:10-11; D&C 43:15-16; 88:77.)

Loves the Lord and seeks to learn and obey His word and teachings. (See John 14:15; 2 Tim. 2:15; Alma 17:2-3; D&C 11:21.)

Knows and loves each class member. (See John 13:34).

Hears, reads, and ponders the messages of the living prophets. (See D&C 1:37-38.)

Teaches from the scriptures and approved lesson materials. (See D&C 42:12.)

Seeks the Lord's help while preparing. (See D&C 50:21-25.)

Seeks constantly to improve learning by adding interest, spiritual insight, and relevance. (See 1 Cor. 14:8-9.)

Gives each class member an opportunity to participate. (See D&C 88:122.)

Helps class members apply gospel teachings in their individual lives. (See 1 Ne. 19:23-24.)

Bears witness of the truth. (See D&C 18:34-36.)

Instructions for Priesthood and Auxiliary Leaders on Teacher Development

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