“Learning Experience 3: Teaching and Learning by the Spirit,” New-Teacher Training Resource: A Teacher-Improvement Companion to the Gospel Teaching and Learning Handbook (2016)
“Learning Experience 3,” New-Teacher Training Resource
This learning experience covers the following concepts:
Understanding the role of the Holy Ghost in teaching and learning
Meeting both the seen and unseen needs of students
Inviting the influence of the Holy Ghost
“Gospel teaching and learning takes place through the power of the Holy Ghost. … Only through teaching and learning by the Spirit will students come to understand and rely on the teachings and Atonement of Jesus Christ in such a way that they may qualify for eternal life” (Gospel Teaching and Learning: A Handbook for Teachers and Leaders in Seminaries and Institutes of Religion , 10).
Just as Sister Park has students with various needs and challenges, you will too. The following examples represent some typical student circumstances. Think of how your students’ circumstances might affect how the Spirit directs your teaching.
“Sometimes school keeps me really busy. I’ve got so much to do in my other classes.”
“I hope I can focus in class today. I don’t read very well, and I have a hard time paying attention.”
“I’m surrounded by so many people, but I still feel lonely.”
“I love being here in seminary—finally a place where I feel accepted.”
“I don’t know if I should be here today. I’ve done some things I’m ashamed of.”
“I feel like I’m the only one in my family without a testimony.”
If we rely solely upon our own abilities, we will not be able to address all of the unique needs of our students. However, if we are prepared and follow the promptings of the Holy Ghost, we will be guided to teach in a way that will deepen our students’ conversion and help meet their seen and unseen needs.
When we understand the role of the Holy Ghost in gospel teaching and learning, we will do all we can to invite Him to fulfill His role in our lives and in the lives of our students (see Gospel Teaching and Learning, section 2.1 [“Teach and Learn by the Spirit”], page 11).
Teachers can do the following to invite the Spirit to fulfill His role:
Strive for personal worthiness.
Offer a “prayer of faith” (D&C 42:14).
Seek to be thoroughly prepared for each lesson.
Seek to focus on their students’ learning experience.
Seek peace rather than feeling upset and anxious about other things.
Have a spirit of humble inquiry.
Encourage students to invite the Holy Ghost into their learning experiences.
Teachers and students can do the following to invite the Spirit to fulfill His role:
Read and teach from the scriptures and the words of the prophets.
Focus examples and discussions on the Savior and bear testimony of Him.
State gospel doctrine and principles simply and clearly.
Take time for thoughtful pondering during moments of inspired silence.
Share appropriate personal experiences and testify of doctrine and principles.
Express love and gratitude for one another and for the Lord.
In your personal journal, record a few impressions or action items that have come to your mind as you have pondered how you and your students can invite the Holy Ghost to fulfill His role in gospel teaching and learning.
“Teaching and learning by the Spirit occurs when the Holy Ghost is performing His role or functions with the teacher, with the student, or with both” (Gospel Teaching and Learning, 10).
As you are attentive to the quiet promptings of the Spirit, you can be led to help meet students’ seen and unseen needs.
Once you and your students understand the crucial role the Holy Ghost performs in spiritual learning, you will do all you can to invite the Spirit to fulfill these functions.
“No eternal learning can take place without that quickening of the Spirit from heaven. … For this reason, you are to teach the gospel ‘by the Spirit, even the Comforter which was sent forth to teach the truth’ [D&C 50:14]” (Dieter F. Uchtdorf, “A Teacher of God’s Children” [evening with a General Authority, Jan. 28, 2011], 7).
To conclude this learning experience, write down some things you will do based on the principles you have learned today.