Tag Archive: seminary structure

Do you struggle with any “guilt” of not covering a highlighted principle or large section of scripture block in a given section?

As a new seminary teacher, I am still learning the principle of teaching students, not lessons. I guess I feel like I have been teaching lessons to students. I am a “by the book” person and if it’s in the book, I want to teach it. Do you struggle with any “guilt” of not covering a highlighted principle or large section of scripture block in a given section? Suggestions please.
Have you read the Gospel Teaching and Learning handbook? Read Section 4. You should never feel guilty about not covering something. Shake it off, girl.

It’s unfortunate that this whole testing thing is giving teachers the idea they *have to* cover certain stuff so kids can pass the test. That’s not the intent of Seminary.


It’s important to keep in mind that years from now (and it may only be 1 year from now), your students will only remember 4 things from their year with you: How they felt about you as their teacher, how the perceived you felt about them, Scripture mastery (if you did it) and a couple (yes just a couple) of stand out lessons that impacted them. Remember that what we as teachers are trying to do is create good habits (read every day), have them feel and recognize the spirit and strengthen testimony. Covering all the principles falls way down on the list. Think back to your own youth and how much of it do you remember and what had the greatest impact.
Yes, yes, yes! This is my second year teaching and I still struggle with “holding fast” to the lessons in the manual!!
Continue to pray for your students; learn to love them. They will remember that more than any lesson you teach. Having said that, however, i pray for guidance for what my students need with each lesson. Sometimes we only cover one topic; sometimes more; sometimes not the one i started out with either! :) Let the Spirit guide you and “let go” of the guilt . . . I used to be just like that! Best wishes!
When I read the scripture block first, usually three times, prayerfully looking for the principles my students need to learn; I have found that I am guided to those principles. Then, when I look at the teacher’s manual, I am more confident about the things I want to cover and what I can let go.
Not at all :). I am not good at walking through a lesson manual and remembering everything if says I should teach. Even when I use notes, it rarely works well. I read the scriptures, pray for guidance, take a gander at the manual, and if it helps, I use it, if not, move on. I want my kids to feel that seminary is a place they want to be, where they feel love, the Spirit, and my testimony. If that happens, they will return time and again to the Gospel and scriptures through a lifetime of study and church lessons. The kids are going to retain a fraction of what we teach in these critical years – I concentrate on making sure they know the human stories of church history and the answers those amazing people found through the revelations they received, now in the D&C. That usually involves a variety of teaching methods so they never get bored. I look for ideas all over the place – a good teacher is a good (idea) thief.
I do! In fact, for today’s lesson, I felt that I needed to cover most of what was in the manual, so I prepared it that way, only leaving out a few details. But then actually teaching it, my whole lesson plan was abandoned. We got into a really good discussion and I could see my students really engaging, so in the end we only covered about a third of the material – didn’t even use the handouts I’d prepared. But at the end of the day I feel that my students got what they needed this morning 😄
Jenny Smith your “between the prayers” and other information on your web site is brilliant. Where have you been all my life? :-)
Gina Gardner Brown, I can totally relate to every word and worry you have. I am in my second year of teaching and the best thing that I can tell you is: Keep trying, it truly does get easier with each passing week. This calling can be so overwhelming. Just pray and then do your best.
I make sure I’m prepared to teach all the lesson, but some of the best lessons I’ve taught have been when I followed the line of questions that the students had. I teach an inner city branch seminary and the kids sometimes need more of the basic gospel principles taught to them. My first year I kept bringing the discussion back to the lesson, but this year I have followed the spirit more and have taught the students more. Since I can feel the spirit as we get off the lesson plan, I no longer worry about teaching everything in the lesson.

Review after break Dilemma

By Shauna Hostetler Shauna Hostetler: When we return to class in a few days, I feel like I need to do a review of where we are, scripture mastery review, and a general pep-talk to get us moving forward as a class again. At the same time, I feel like we have no time to spare as far as pacing and staying on track with the lesson schedule. Any suggestions/plans…
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Do you complete the work like students?

By Khipi Parker Khipi Parker: I’m not sure how to best ask this question and I hope it makes sense….As a teacher, do you complete the work like a student would? In other words, do you do the home-study/make-up version of the lessons, mark your scriptures, and/or keep a seminary/scripture journal? 2(5 hours ago) Coleen Machiel Castro: Yes! I keep a scripture notebook as I read the years course during…
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How long does your seminary class run?

By Shauna Hostetler Shauna Hostetler: For early morning (or evening-not released time) teachers: How many minutes do you meet each morning? What is your start and end time? How long do you take for devotional? What is the average time for the actual lesson? How much time to do you spend on SM each day/week? Do you meet 5 days? Do you meet every day school is in sesson? 5(4…
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Class presidency responsibilities?

By Nancy Willey Blan Nancy Willey Blan: For those of you who have a class president in your classrooms, what responsibilities do you give them? (5 hours ago) Julee Robinson: We have a sign up sheet for prayers, hymn and devotionals. The president of the week makes sure those things are signed up for by other class members. The president conducts class, sometimes conducts some kind of scripture mastery activity,…
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Help my class though the winter “blahs”

By Elaine Lowham Wakley Elaine Lowham Wakley: Oh wise teachers, I need your amazing ideas. I live in Michigan, and I need ideas to help my class though the winter “blahs” in January, February and March. In the past, I’ve used seminary bucks leading to a late-March auction. My class doesn’t seem to like auctions (we’ve tried several versions–all were a bust). What successful activities have you used to help…
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Bringing Homework to class

By Bonnie Bair Bonnie Bair: What do y’all do or say to those who bring their homework to class? I’ve addressed it in the past but now we have a few more doing it. (14 hours ago) Amy Jones Griffeth: I have a strict “leave the world outside” policy. In previous years I’ve let kids have like a dire emergency, one time only homework day but last year that really…
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