I would recommend for everyone to go and read the whole book, but if you dont have time, here is a chapter by chapter summary with key ideas and insights as well as some of my ideas for application. Chapter 1 Not Born a Teacher Summary Any teacher can improve Improving requires that teachers leave their comfort zones Meaningful change usually requires both practice and patience, so dont give up We cant improve all on our own, and we dont have tothe Lord will help us Insights What if your boss visited your class and said You are a good teacher, but you could be great? Chapter 2 Be Prepared Summary Many teachers should spend more time preparing because wining it doesnt cut it when we teach for the Lord When you prepare thoroughly, guard against overloading your students with everything you learned Start preparing early so ideas can simmer Recognize that the Spirit can guide you not only in teaching, but also in preparing Follow the Spirit in preparing and teaching lessons Narrow breadth to all ow for depth Leave time to figure out not just what to teach but also how to teach it Insights Spend about twice as much time preparing as a lesson as teaching it In trying to cover everything, you may only make sure nothing is covered well Practical Applications Divide your lesson plan into two parts: what to teach, and how to teach it. Chapter 3 If Ye Receive Not the Spirit Ye Shall Not Teach Summary Pray for the Spirit Testifyand get students to testify Teach with love, focusing on teaching students instead of lessons Prepare spiritually Invite students to recognize promptings of the Spirit Use music to facilitate the flow of the Spirit Insights The Spirit is not only for gospel topics and does not always come with strong emotions and tears Ask yourself, What should I do differently than the best atheist professor in my field could do? Invite students to invite the Spirit in their prayers Chapter 4 Shifting the Burden Summary Remember, the best lessons are caught, not taught, and that great teachers help their students learn to catch the lessons Help students understand what they can do to learn Expect students to take responsibility for their learning Show them that youre still learning by faith Show them the tools they can use to glean insights for themselvesand give them a chance to use those tools Cultivate a spirit of inquiry Inspire and follow up on out-of-class learning and application Insights Ask not, What will I teach? On the first day, ask students to think about classes where they learned the most, focusing on the variables within their control. Invite participation by warning students that they will need to share a summary of the reading with the class, or described what they learned from an assignment. Require students to ask one question on each main point before moving on with the lesson. Practical Applications Chapter 5 Make it Personal Summary Teach with the real purpose of changing lives in mind Help students understand the doctrines and principles Then help them connect the doctrinal dots by applying doctrines to their lives Facilitate rather than dictate application Insights Dont impose your own rules or behaviors on the students, but facilitate a discussion where they find ways to use principles in their lives. Practical Applications Students remember the points they verbalize in class Ask, Therefore, what? Chapter 6 Look Whos Talking Summary Never give a lecture with no student participation Participation keeps students awake and engaged and they learn more We can learn things from our students Students can teach each other in ways we cant Students who participate can become spiritually self-reliant Insights Draw students into the lesson and the process of learning. Use the Socratic methodlead students to the conclusion through a series of questions Chapter 7 Openers Summary Grab students attention Ease students into a gospel discussion Stimulate participation Consider time spent on the Opener as an investment Look in the manual for Opener ideas Borrow ideas from other teachers Look for Openers in advance Use Openers to get students into the scriptures, not to replace the scriptures Insights Draw students into the lesson and out of themselves by transitioning out of everyday world and into the content Practical Applications Have students look over job ads and find the qualifications for their dream job and a job they could get today. Chapter 8 The Art of Crafting Questions Summary Invest time in creating questions Ask questions you would want to answer Use questions with multiple right answersthey work especially well Remember that different types of questions work best for different purposes Avoid fishing! Ask before you list Insights No one can come up with great questions on the fly. Practical Applications Try open-ended questions like, Why is forgiving others so important? Chapter 9 The Art of Asking Questions Summary Ask questions before reading or watching Have students discuss questions in pairs Plant questions in advance Restate questions and elaborate Call on students by name or small group before asking the question Start early Make the classroom safe Give as much notice as possible Draw students out with follow-up questions Ride out the silence Insights Warm students up by chatting before class starts Find something good in each answer and thank students for answering Practical Applications Give students something to think about before the next class, sometimes making assignments to particular students Try, Sarah, will you read this passage? Chapter 10 Testimonies without Microphones Summary No microphone is necessary Students often find testimonies while bearing them Use great questions to elicit testimonies Role-play Insights A bishop asked 8-year-olds, How do you know the church is true? Try mock interviews, where the student plays the role of someone from the text and answers a reporters questions. Try, Be prepared to share some ways you have seen miracles in your life or in your family for next class Make eye contact when asking people to share personal experiences. Chapter 11 Writing Things Down to Open Students Up Summary Journals provide a great place for students to collect quotes, etc. Students can also summarize principles from the lesson in their journals Responding in writing to thoughtful questions allows the entire class to participate virtually Writing answers in journals prepares students to share answers with the class Recording personal promptings helps students recognize and act on impressions from the Spirit Insights Encourage students to take notes, copy quotes, scripture chains, etc. Follow journal writing with discussion Practical Applications Provide students with notebooks and require them to fill up a certain number of pages. Chapter 12 Variety in All Things Summary Variety keeps students interested and engaged Using a variety of techniques helps teachers remain flexible and open to the promptings of the Spirit Using different techniques enables teachers to reach students with different learning styles Being willing to experiment with different techniquesand occasionally failingis essential to teaching with variety All of our teaching techniques should be consistent with the Spirit and the subject matter Review completed lesson plans to see how much variety you really have Variety is simply a means to an end, not the ultimate aim of our teaching. Practical Applications One time, you could have students listen to music while reading an entire chapter in class, then have each student share one insight. Try having each row take 3 minutes to come up with a summary or insight from different parts of the book to share. Have students write down one real-life question they have and invite them to scan a chapter for any insights into answering it. Chapter 13 Pictures and PowerPoint Summary Recognize that visual images in any medium can be very powerful tools Dont let your fear of learning to use a new visual tool deprive your students of the benefits of that tool As great as some visual tools are, never let the tool control your lesson or your lesson preparation Remember that visual learners are very grateful when teachers find some way to illustrate principles rather than just talk about them Insights Moses had the Israelites go to two different mountains and shout Amen when he described blessings for obedience and curses for disobedience. Chapter 14 The Right Stuff at the Right Time Summary Learn to say, I dont know There are plenty of doctrinal questions to which we dont actually know the answers Rely on written sources to ensure the accuracy of the statements and stories you share Its not enough to teach the truth; gospel teachers should teach the right doctrines at the right times Stories can add variety to lessonsif they are accurate and promote doctrines rather than the storytellers As agents of the Lord, gospel teachers should never do anything to undermine the faith of their students Insights Doctrinal interpretation is the province of the First Presidency Ezra Taft Benson. Try, I love the thought, but we actually need to set the record straight on Chapter 15 No Whipping the Students Summary When possible, avoid shushing battle with students Build rapport with students by genuinely caring about their lives When students become restless, refocus their attention by shifting gears to a different type of activity Know that the best defense against disciplinary problems is a good offensea great lesson Escalate disciplinary action gradually Remember that order is not your only goal, or you may end up with students who close their hearts along with their mouths Insights What if your boss visited your class and said You are a good teacher, but you could be great?
3. "Never, and I mean never, give a lecture where there is no student participation. A 'talking head' is the weakest form of class instruction" (52, Richard G. 5. "Remember that the very best teaching is one on one and often takes place out of the classroom" (139, Howard W.
Any gospel teacher could certainly improve their teaching by reading and applying this book. Again, it is an excellent compilation of the author's stories, experiences, curated quotes, and applications about gospel teaching. Specifically, the book looks like the publisher simply took the word version of the book and dumped it on to Amazon without any thought of the user experience.
It's full of great advice on how to handle just about anything that can come up in a classroom and really teaches you how to teach the gospel. Some highlights: Be Prepared, have the spirit, make it personal, have a great opener, how to come up with great questions, how to have variety, how to get participation, how to manage the clock, and most importantly, to teach with the Spirit.
This book offers great tips and techniques to help you be more effective.