3 principles for good teaching

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Three basic principles essential to good teaching, according to William S. Oswald:

  1. Show love to those you teach and call them by name
  2. Teach from the scriptures
  3. Encourage the pondering of gospel truths

2 thoughts on “3 principles for good teaching

  1. Here are a couple comments about Sunday School teaching.

    A few teachers take their job too seriously. They think that they need to deliver every truth in the lesson rather than asking questions of participants and having the lesson be more of a conversation. If we are to liken the scriptures to ourselves any one scripture will likely have multiple applications.

    I don’t think we focus enough on the scriptures themselves. We don’t slow down and savor them but seem to have a hurried tour. I hate jumping from proof text to proof text… boring. Let’s spend more time reading and examine the structure of the argument, the beauty of the language, themes, and our feelings and impressions. When you read from the bible it is often nice to have some context. Often if you read the entire paragraph you get a better context than a single isolated verse.

    When we read the Old Testament we talk about the people of that time as if they were stupid and dumb and if they only understood the gospel like us their problems would be solved. I would rather discuss in what ways are we stupid and dumb just like the people of the Old Testament or a scribe or the pharisee or maybe even a publican?

    Why must the answers always be say your prayers and read your scriptures? If you are going to make it to the celestial kingdom you might have to do a bit more than that.

    I love a challenging thought provoking question, better than pat answers.

    Let us remember Jesus more. Let us explore types and shadows of Christ in the scriptures and explore those more often. Have you ever had a lesson about Abraham and Isaac and the atonement seemed to be secondary to the lesson?

    Let us be more open and willing to accept grace. Sometimes the answer isn’t we must do more. More meetings, more reading, more praying, more home teaching, more, more, more doing something. Sometimes doing is not the answer. Sometimes what we need to do is to accept, to receive and become.

    I do not like the assumption that we are righteous because we happen to be at church. Repentance is not a dirty word. We all need it… lets acknowledge that fact once in a while. The people in the world are not all unhappy, miserable, lost, worldly, and on a highway to hell. Alternately, some of the members of our Sunday School class may be.

    Sometimes the bible is difficult to understand. I wish we were open to alternate readings from other versions such as the NRSV, NASB, REB, ESV, NJB, or NIV especially for some of the Old Testament or Pauline Epistles that are challenging in KJV english.

    Let’s celebrate the Psalms more.

    The purpose of Sunday School isn’t to show others how righteous you are, or to show how much you know about the scriptures…. it is to come and be edified and help others do the same.

    If we share a story we should know it’s true. No more entertaining folk stories that didn’t really happen and don’t edify.

    If you disagree with someone… be a Christian about it.

    Be careful of generalizations.

    Be careful not to speak of same gender attraction as sin. We can speak of homosexual activity as sin but not as an abomination. Remember all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. There are enough moral problems in an given ward to prohibit us from being self righteous. Let us be kind when we speak of others.

    Don’t assume everyone subscribes to your political views. Politics doesn’t usually go over well in Sunday School. Be considerate of the Liberal or NDP supporter in the class. Remember, there is room in the church for people of all political persuasions.

    Commentaries are not necessarily authoritative. We should trust our own intuition about the scriptures more.

    1. I agree. It bugs me when teachers focus so much on covering the material in the manual that they dismiss questions and discussion among class members.

      I prefer using the scriptures as my lesson text. Using the manual does not encourage study.

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