“Six Tips for Teachers,” Ensign, Mar. 1997, 71
I have the wonderful opportunity of teaching the gospel to youth. Each Sunday I strive to use my best teaching skills in order to communicate in an uplifting, memorable way what the Spirit would have me teach. I have found it helpful to keep in mind the following six concepts as I prepare to teach:
Show enthusiasm. If I’m not excited about a subject, my teaching will lack personal conviction. So I prepare well to renew my own conviction and to make each lesson interesting.
Build personal testimony. During the week I study the gospel and try to apply its teachings. The experiences I have as I do this strengthen my testimony and become examples in my lessons. This helps my students grasp the importance of gospel teachings in their lives.
Seek the Lord’s guidance. After teaching my lesson on Sunday, I try to read and ponder the next week’s lesson. I include the lesson concepts in my prayers and seek inspiration and guidance. Prayerful preparation consistently brings better results than if I neglect to include the Lord in my teaching efforts.
Present interesting lessons. To keep students’ interest, I use stories or ideas from Church magazines to illustrate lesson points. I assign scriptures, stories, and thoughts to various students and invite participation and discussion. It is important to adapt each lesson to the needs of class members and to have them share their own stories or examples that illustrate the subject under discussion.
Get to know my students. By taking time to become better acquainted with my students, I can find ways to customize my lessons to help certain individuals.
Bear my testimony. I have learned that the Spirit bears witness of the truth and that bearing testimony invites the Spirit to touch those being taught. I remind myself that it is altogether appropriate to bear testimony not only at the end of a lesson but during the lesson as well.—Kary Jane Hutto, Salt Lake City, Utah