Teacher Improvement meeting

(by Angela, ID)
I wanted to share what we did for our last Teacher Improvement meeting...it went so well!

We asked all the teachers to bring their scriptures and the "Teaching, No Greater Call" manuals that we had given them.  All of your teachers should have this manual!!

(This could be confusing, so to make it easier, you may want to have your ST outline--turned to the last page (not the back page) so you can follow along as your read this.)

We really wanted to focus on helping the teachers prepare Class Presentations
We used the Sharing Time Planning Worksheet, which is the last page of the ST outline as I and my counselor planned what to present at the TI meeting.  We made copies of the ST planning worksheet for the teachers to use as a "guide" when planning their Class Presentations.

So, by us (the Primary Pres.) using the ST planning worksheet--we were able to 'show' them how to use it in their planning.

So this is what we planned for our TI meeting,  using that worksheet:

1. What gospel principle to teach
The first thing on the worksheet it to decide what gospel principle to teach. We decided it would be "Help primary teachers plan and prepare class presentations"

2. How can I introdue the gospel principle?
On the worksheet it gave the "Teaching, No Greater Call" book as a resource, witih "Attention Activities" as a suggested chapter to read.  So we
decided for our "Attention Activity" I (I am the PP) would begin the meeting by being totally UNPREPARED!  I fumbled around trying to find the worksheets that "I had forgotten to copy", fumbled through the TNGC book to "find that one thing I was going to tell you"....and finally said...."Oh, let's just have refreshments". Lol  I really had the teachers going!  I then explained that I really was prepared and that this was an "attention activity".  Then I explained about the ST planning worksheet and handed them out to everyone.

3. How can I teach the gospel principle and involve the children?
So I then spoke about where they can find "topic" ideas--Their manuals and The Friend (there are now "Class Presentation ideas" in The Friend with the ST helps). I also told them that the Primary Presidency is also a resource they can draw on when trying to come up with ideas.  Then I talked to them about the importance of involving ALL the children in their class in the planning, preparing and presenting the Class sharing time.  So in order for ME to follow the ST planning worksheet, I had involved ALL my Presidency members in our meeting tonight. 

4. How can I teach the gospel principle and involve the children?
It has bullited items that each have the TNGC manual as a resource:

  1. Scriptures: the secretary talked about the section in the TNGC manual that talks about "Teaching from the Scriptures" then gave different ideas that the teachers could use for their class presentations such as: Help the children memorize a scriptures, scripture chases, acting out a scripture story, having the children draw pictures to go with a scripture story.
  2. Songs: the 2nd counselor talked about the section in the TNGC manual that talks about "Music".  She encouraged the teachers to use music when
    doing class presentations and that the chorister is there as a resource for them for help.  She then talked about some different ways to use music--teach a song, do a "sing-a-story", ask them questions, then listen to a song for the answers.
  3. Teaching methods that involve the children--the 1st counselor talked about the section in the TNGC manual that talks about "methods of teaching".  But rather than just talk about it, she had prepared in advance about 8-10 different activities that show the different methods. She gave them out to the teachers, then had them each come up one at a time and demonstrate the "method".  When they were finished, the teachers would then have to "find" what method was demonstrated, in their TNGC manual...kind of a like a scripture chase.  They had to find what method it was and what the page # was.  She had teachers demonstrate how to memorize a scripture, flannel board stories, visuals, object lessons etc.  This was a lot of fun!!

    She ended her portion by reading the scriptures in the New Testament about the 5 loaves and 2 fishes.  She even brought a basket with real fish and bread!  This is a great story to emphasize why we do not have treats in primary.  It says in the scriptures that people were coming for the food, not to hear Jesus speak.  In primary we are here to feed the primary children's spirit, not their stomachs!

5. Ways to apply the gospel principle.
I basically told the teachers that by using this ST planning worksheet, they can apply what we had taught them tonight.  I also stressed that they did not have to follow this worksheet EXACTLY, but use it as a guide.  Brainstorm ideas, write them down under each heading, then decide what would be best for your class.  I also stressed that all of these things they were taught tonight can and should be used in class as they teach each week.

6. Conclusion and testimony
I read the scripture I Nephi 3:7 and told them that if they start planning early, the Lord will help them by giving them ideas and inspiration.  From reading the scripture in Nephi, we know that the Lord will not ask us to do anything, without providing us help.

I also asked the teachers to ALWAYS bear their testimony of what they had taught, whether it be in their class, or after their class presentation.
We are hoping that our teachers will spend more time on their class presentations and that we will have better class presentations that invites the spirit!