I'm thinking about the attributes of good teachers.
It has nothing to do with what the bishop spoke about in his fifth Sunday presentation today. I suppose it's remotely related to the Sunday School lesson, because that was about the attributes of a good missionary. And since a large part of being a missionary is teaching, I imagined the two lists would share some traits.
But I'm thinking about teaching, because that is a calling I just received. I'll be the Relief Society "Teachings for our Times" teacher. And I have a feeling I have rarely encountered: I am intimidated.
It is kind of funny to think about, because I usually don't feel humbled by anything. In fact, I can remember sitting through many a Relief Society lesson thinking that I could teach better than the girl standing in front of the class, half-mumbling her impressions and asking for input only to find an unreceptive audience.
(That, by the way, is my biggest fear--that during my first lesson, I'll ask a question designed to provoke discussion . . . and nothing will happen.)
But now that I stop and think about it, I'm not sure about exactly how to teach. I know what I appreciate in a lesson and what I can do without. I know how to design questions intended for open-ended discussion. And I know the point isn't for me to talk for forty-five minutes without getting any input from the sisters.
Knowing and doing, I've found, are very distinct entities. Or rather, true knowing can only come from doing. So here, as I spout out my thoughts, are some attributes of teachers I've had and loved.
Please, feel free to add on in the comments.
- Intense study.
- Devoted time to thinking about the topic of the lesson without necessarily starting to prepare the lesson itself.
- Perceived instances in their own lives and the lives of others that will help drive their point home.
- Somberness, when called for.
- Willingness to listen.
- Ability to be in touch with the Spirit.
- With above, ability to maneuver a lesson in a direction they had not, perhaps, planned on going when they started.
- Excellent object lessons. (My dad: master at this. I mean, master. My mom too. I don't know how they do it. But let me tell you: I hope it's written in somehow genetically.)
And since my brain is shutting down, feel free to add on.
Interestingly enough, I spoke to my mom about this today--I was telling her that I wouldn't know what to do if someone made a completely off-the-wall comment that had nothing to do with anything.
And she told me just how important the Spirit is--because when she taught Gospel Doctrine with my dad, she wasn't sure how she would react either. But when people said truly strange things, she always found herself turning them into a kind joke. Due to promptings. Interesting, no?
That said, I hope I don't feel too much of a need to joke in four weeks . . .