Seminaries and Institutes
For Leaders—Helping Teachers Succeed

“For Leaders—Helping Teachers Succeed,” Teaching in the Savior’s Way: For All Who Teach in the Home and in the Church (2022)

“For Leaders—Helping Teachers Succeed,” Teaching in the Savior’s Way

Sunday school class

For Leaders—Helping Teachers Succeed

One-on-One Interactions

Often the best way to meet the unique needs of teachers is through one-on-one interactions. For example, as a leader, you could have a brief discussion with a teacher before or after class to discuss the principles of Teaching in the Savior’s Way. You could prepare for this discussion by watching the teacher teach. Seek to better understand the teacher’s strengths and discover ways you can offer support.

Building on a teacher’s strengths is as important as identifying opportunities for improvement. It is helpful to start discussions with teachers by asking them to consider for themselves what is going well and where they feel progress can be made.

As you meet with teachers, consider ways to strengthen them and encourage them with kindness and gratitude for the service they give.

Teacher Council Meetings

Each ward should hold quarterly teacher council meetings in which teachers can counsel together about principles of Christlike teaching. Teacher council meetings may also be held for parents (see General Handbook: Serving in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 13.5,

When Should These Meetings Be Held?

Teacher council meetings are held during the 50-minute class time on Sunday.

  • Priesthood, Relief Society, and Young Women teachers can attend on either the first or third Sunday, as determined by local leaders.

  • Sunday School teachers can attend on either the second or fourth Sunday, as determined by local leaders.

  • Primary teachers can attend on any Sunday, as determined by the ward Primary and Sunday School presidencies. If desired, Primary teachers may meet separately from other teachers to counsel about the unique aspects of teaching children. This can happen during the 20-minute singing time, before or after regular Sunday meetings, or on another day of the week. More than one teacher council meeting may be held quarterly for Primary teachers so that they do not all miss Primary classes in the same week. (Note: As needed, the Primary presidency assigns substitute teachers, combines classes, or makes other arrangements to allow Primary teachers to attend teacher council meetings.)

  • Teacher council meetings for parents can be held on any Sunday, as determined by the ward council.

Who Should Attend?

Everyone who teaches a quorum or class in the ward should attend, along with at least one of the priesthood or organization leaders with responsibility over those quorums or classes. If necessary, participants may be divided into groups according to the needs of those they teach. For example, teachers of youth or children may benefit from meeting separately on occasion to discuss issues specific to teaching youth or children.

For teacher council meetings for parents, the ward council determines whether to invite specific parents or to make attendance open to all who want to participate.

Who Leads These Meetings?

The ward council, with assistance from the Sunday School presidency, oversees teacher council meetings. They counsel together about the needs of teachers and learners based on what they have observed in classes and meetings. They work together to determine which principles and practices from Teaching in the Savior’s Way will best meet the needs they have identified.

Usually, a member of the Sunday School presidency leads teacher council meetings. However, other ward members may be assigned to lead meetings on occasion. Quorum and organization presidencies reinforce with their teachers the principles and practices discussed in the meeting.

What Should Happen in a Teacher Council Meeting?

The teacher council meeting should follow this format:

  • Share and counsel together. Invite teachers to share recent teaching experiences, ask questions related to teaching, and share ideas for overcoming challenges. This part of the meeting could include a review of principles discussed in previous meetings.

  • Learn together. Invite teachers to discuss one of the following principles presented in this resource: focus on Jesus Christ, love those you teach, teach by the Spirit, teach the doctrine, and invite diligent learning. The principles may be addressed in any order, and unless otherwise directed by the ward council, the participants in the meeting may choose the next principle to be discussed. You can spend more than one meeting on a principle if needed.

  • Plan and invite. Help teachers plan how they will apply the principle they have discussed. As appropriate, you could also practice together a skill you have discussed. Invite them to record and act upon any impressions they receive about how to apply the principle in their teaching—including in their efforts to teach in their homes. Encourage them to begin studying the next principle to be discussed.

As much as possible, teacher council meetings should model the principles being discussed.

young women hugging

Teacher council meetings can help teachers better understand and apply principles of Christlike teaching.

Orienting Newly Called Teachers

As a leader, you have the responsibility to “meet with newly called teachers” in your organization and “help them prepare for their callings” (General Handbook, 17.3, These meetings are an opportunity to introduce new teachers to their sacred callings and inspire them with a vision of what it means to teach in the Savior’s way. As a leader, you can help new teachers prepare to serve by doing the following:

  • Express confidence that the Savior will help them in their calling (see Doctrine and Covenants 88:78).

  • Give new teachers a copy of this resource, and encourage them to look for ways to apply its principles in their teaching.

  • Share with new teachers anything about your organization that would be helpful for them to know.

  • As needed, tell new teachers which room to teach in and what lesson to begin with. Provide any information they need about their class and class members.

  • Explain to new teachers that you can help them with their calling. Offer support in the classroom and access to teaching resources if needed.

  • Offer to observe teachers’ classes occasionally, and provide feedback as prompted by the Spirit.

  • Invite teachers to participate in quarterly teacher council meetings.