Guidebooks and Callings
12: Obtaining Support from Your Leaders
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“12: Obtaining Support from Your Leaders,” Teaching, No Greater Call: A Resource Guide for Gospel Teaching (1999), 28

“12,” Teaching, No Greater Call, 28


Obtaining Support from Your Leaders

Part of a priesthood or auxiliary leader’s responsibility is to assist and support teachers. The quality of teaching in the Church will improve as leaders and teachers develop a supportive and caring relationship.

In priesthood and auxiliary organizations, leaders are assigned to work with specific teachers. For example, a member of a Primary presidency may be assigned to work with those who teach children ages 8 through 11. A member of an elders quorum presidency may be assigned to work with the quorum instructors.

Orientations for New Teachers

If you are a newly called teacher, your leader will meet with you, preferably before your first class. He or she will talk with you about the importance of your call and give you the materials for the class. After you have taught your first lesson, you and your leader should briefly discuss the experience.

Contacting Leaders to Counsel with Them

Contact your leader frequently to share experiences, discuss the needs of those you teach, solve problems, and seek counsel. This will provide an opportunity to review your plans for continuing improvement as a teacher.

Such contacts are most effective in person, but if necessary they may be made by telephone, mail, or some other means. You should initiate the contacts whenever you need to but at least once every three months.

When a female leader meets with a male teacher or a male leader meets with a female teacher, they should leave the door open and ask another adult to be in an adjoining room, foyer, or hall. They should avoid circumstances that might be misunderstood.

As you look forward to counseling with your leader, prepare to talk about:

  • How you are feeling about your calling as a teacher.

  • Experiences you have had with your class.

  • Examples of how class members are responding to the lessons you teach.

  • Specific needs of individual class members.

  • Your goals as a teacher.

  • What your leader can do to help you accomplish your goals.

  • Topics that you feel should be addressed in teacher improvement meetings.

Classroom Visits

Some leaders attend the same class each week as part of their callings. Other leaders, such as members of Primary presidencies and Sunday School presidencies, are instructed to arrange with teachers to occasionally visit their classes (see Improving Gospel Teaching: A Leader’s Guide, page 6). If a leader arranges to visit your class, you may ask him or her to simply observe the class or to help in other ways. For example, a leader may present part of the lesson, reach out to a particular class member, or assist with activities.