“Lesson 7: Create a Learning Atmosphere: Part 2,”
Teaching, No Greater Call: A Resource Guide for Gospel Teaching (1999), 219–21
Teaching, No Greater Call, 219–21
Create a Learning Atmosphere
To help class members apply the principles they learned in lesson 6.
At the conclusion of lesson 6, you asked class members to prepare to talk about ways to prevent distractions and solve discipline problems (see page 218). Because teachers desire to learn practical, specific ways to deal with problems, you should plan this lesson so that you will spend most of the class time on this application activity.
As you direct the discussions in this lesson, help class members become more confident in their ability to create a learning atmosphere.
Doctrine and Covenants 12:8. Seek to apply it to the purpose of the lesson.
Prepare to talk about how to prevent or solve a specific distraction or discipline problem. Make sure your solution is practical.
Make sure class members are also prepared to talk about how to prevent distractions and solve discipline problems (see the assignment on page 218). Remind them to make their solutions specific and practical.
Continue studying the section of this book titled
“Create a Learning Atmosphere” (pages 75–87). Suggested Lesson Development Our success in influencing others depends on our humility and love.
Remind class members that in lesson 2 they discussed the importance of loving those we teach. This principle should govern all we do as we try to create a learning atmosphere, especially as we work individually with class members.
Have a class member read
Doctrine and Covenants 12:8.
Suggest that as class members talk about how to prevent distractions and solve discipline problems, they should keep in mind the importance of this principle.
Share the following statement by President Howard W. Hunter:
“God’s chief way of acting is by persuasion and patience and long-suffering, not by coercion and stark confrontation. He acts by gentle solicitation and by sweet enticement. He always acts with unfailing respect for the freedom and independence that we possess. He wants to help us and pleads for the chance to assist us, but he will not do so in violation of our agency. He loves us too much to do that” (in Conference Report, Oct. 1989, 21; or
Ensign, Nov. 1989, 18). We can help others understand and fulfill their responsibility to contribute to a learning atmosphere.
Refer to the assignment that you extended to class members last week. Inform class members that you have also worked on that assignment. Then share the problem that you have considered and your solution to it. Indicate which of the three elements of a learning atmosphere would be strengthened by your solution (for a review of these elements, see page 214). After sharing your solution, ask the following questions:
What is effective about this solution?
What cautions should be taken in using this solution?
What other possible solutions can you think of?
Have class members take turns talking about the problems they have considered and their suggestions on how to solve the problems. Ensure that each class member has the opportunity to contribute. As time permits, follow each presentation with the three questions above.
Explain that in preventing distractions and solving discipline problems, it is often necessary to work with class members one by one. However, we can also teach class members of their responsibilities while they are assembled together. One good way to do this is to begin by sharing our feelings about our callings and our responsibilities as teachers. Then we can outline class members’ responsibilities, teaching about the three elements of a learning atmosphere that were discussed in last week’s lesson (see page 214). Finally, we can emphasize that we need their help because a class can be successful only when the teacher and the learners work together. (For an example of such a presentation, see the story on
page 78 of this book. You may want to read this story with class members.) We should find ways to reduce distractions.
Ask a class member to stand in front of the class. Have the class member stretch his or her arms out, and put a heavy book or other object in each hand. Ask him or her to teach the other class members about the First Vision while continuing to hold the objects in this position. As the individual’s arms begin to drop, remind him or her to keep them up. After about 30 seconds, have the individual put the objects down and return to his or her seat.
Point out that while this person was trying to teach, class members did not concentrate fully on what was being said. Their attention was drawn instead to the effort to hold up the books.
Emphasize that in addition to problems that we have already discussed, the physical setting can also distract from teaching and learning. When class members enter a classroom or other teaching setting that is disorderly or uncomfortable, they are less likely to give their full attention to the message of the lesson.
Carefully planned physical arrangements can help reduce distractions. For example, we should arrange chairs so learners will be able to see us, the chalkboard, and each other. Such a classroom arrangement enhances the teacher’s ability to teach and the learners’ ability to participate and learn. Controlling the temperature of the room, where possible, can help everyone be comfortable. More suggestions for preparing the physical setting are found in
“Preparing the Classroom,” page 76 in this book. We can prevent and solve discipline problems by following basic principles of gospel teaching.
Point out that when we create and maintain a learning atmosphere, we help prevent distractions and solve discipline problems. The most important thing we can do to accomplish this is to implement the principles of gospel teaching that are taught in this course. These principles are:
Love those you teach.
Teach by the Spirit.
Teach the doctrine.
Invite diligent learning.
Prepare every needful thing.
Use effective methods.
As teachers, we should regularly examine ourselves and our teaching to make sure that we are applying each of these principles.
Bear testimony as prompted by the Spirit.
Encourage class members to:
Continue studying the section of this book titled “Create a Learning Atmosphere” (pages 75–87). Consider their own teaching, identifying things they can do to help create a learning atmosphere.
Review the list on page 210 about how to invite diligent learning. Choose one item in the list, and apply it in an upcoming teaching opportunity. Write about the experience in their notebooks.