Scriptures provide remedies to common pitfalls of teaching

Following are 10 common pitfalls of teaching, and suggestions from the Book of Mormon on how to avoid or remedy them.

Confusing feelings of unworthiness with feelings of inadequacy.The story of Nephi returning to get the plates of brass illustrates the appropriate attitude for teachers who feel inadequate. (1 Ne. 3-4.)

Trying to do everything yourself.

The story of Alma's preaching to the people of Ammonihah illustrates that you cannot do it alone. (Alma 8-10.) The story of Captain Moroni and the title of liberty illustrates the need to rally the people who can help in your cause. (Alma 46.)

Using summer preparation time unwisely.

The preparation of Alma and the sons of Mosiah for their missionary labors allowed them to be successful. (Mosiah 27-28; Alma 4; 17.)

Using lesson preparation time unwisely.

The Lord's instruction to the brother of Jared provides an illustration of good balance in a lesson between what and how to teach. (Ether 2-3.)

Relying too much, or not enough, on CES curriculum materials.

Alma's advice to his son, Shiblon, provides valuable counsel. (Alma 38:10-15.)

Teaching lessons instead of teaching students.

The Savior's example when He visited the people of Nephi after His resurrection shows how powerful the one-on-one approach to teaching can be. (3 Ne. 11:15, 17.)

Expecting too little of an effort from your students.

The preaching of Alma and Amulek to the poor Zoramites illustrates the importance of not only teaching the truth but also the necessity of learning by doing. (Alma 32-34.)

Using the "stand and deliver" method of teaching too often.

Alma's teachings at the waters of Mormon show his desire was to "command" the people in what they should do to enjoy the blessings of the gospel. (Mosiah 18.)

Overlooking inappropriate behavior.

Samuel the Lamanite's words in Helaman 15 illustrates a pattern for handling difficult students firmly, but fairly.

Taking student words and actions too personally.

The story of Lehi's relationship with Laman and Lemuel illustrates the patient love a teacher should have for students. (1 Ne. 8.) Ammon's acknowledgment of the Lord in the success of his ministry shows the proper attitude when our teaching has been successful. (Alma 26.)

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