Many times teaching can be the hardest calling out there. For some people they feel they will never get the hang of it. And yet, for others, it seems as if they were born to do it. This page is for both types of people- and everyone in between- to help inspire and guide teachers to become mentors.
Every single teacher is important, and their role as a teacher is like a drop of water. As a teacher you have the amazing opportunity to fill each member of the classrooms testimony with small drops of water. At times it may seem like what you’re doing makes no difference, but in the end you are speaking through the Holy Ghost to lead that member to have those drops of water fill an ocean of a testimony.
Every single person has the potential to be a great and influential teacher and mentor. The reason I say mentor is because this new youth curriculum is encouraging us to become a teacher like Jesus Christ; who was the ultimate mentor. Maybe something that would help us really understand the difference is to show what a mentor is.
What is a mentor?
A mentor is “a trusted counselor or guide.” Isn’t that interesting? A counselor and a guide. A mentor has these five characteristics listed below:
- Teaches–Shares their knowledge and experiences with students to instruct them on something.
- Problem solver–Refers others to resources, offers options, and if needed their own opinion.
- Motivates– Someone who provides encouragement, support, and incentives to help others.
- Coaches–Helps others to overcome performance difficulties through positive feedback (reinforce behavior) and constructive feedback (change behavior).
- Guides–Helps lead others to set realistic goals and guides them to know what needs to be done. Many times the example is all that is needed.
We can apply these 5 characteristics to the Savior. He is a perfect example to us of how to use all 5 characteristics to be a mentor and teach through the Holy Ghost. There are hundreds of scriptures you can study to see exactly how he used these characteristics in his teachings, but my favorite are from the sermon on the mount. I hope it will enlighten you, and change your perspective on the way Jesus taught when you know the 5 roles of a mentor. I also hope you don’t mind if I call you a mentor from here on out because that is who you are (or who you are striving to be).
How Can I Become A Great Teacher/Mentor?
DESIRE. PRAY. STUDY. PRACTICE. These are the most important things you can do to become a great mentor. You can do the just the first three, however practice does make perfect, and the greatest mentors will all agree to that. The church’s website has endless help available to you for study purposes, and if you couple that with studying this website you will be well on your way to becoming a great mentor. Below are links to video and text that will help you know how you can become a better mentor:
(world-wide leadership training website)
(teaching the Savior’s way)
(Come Follow Me teaching videos)
How Do I Use What I Have Learned In The Classroom?
Once you have read the materials and pondered and studied the subject that is going to be discussed you are ready to teach. Many times we think a teacher is someone that is supposed to sit at the front of the classroom and tell everyone what they have learned. However, because you are a mentor that is not the way to go about it. Instead, think of the lesson in a way that the members of the class can come to find out for themselves what you have learned without you telling them. Help them figure it out FOR THEMSELVES. If you prepare and do everything you can to know about the subject being discussed that week then you can let it all go and let the Holy Ghost guide you with what to ask and say. The following videos illustrate the points just made:
3 Most Important Things To Do:
1. Discussion, Not Lesson
-Ask GOOD, OPEN-ENDED, THOUGHT-PROVOKING questions. I recommend coming up with 3 solid questions that go off of the question for that week to be discussed.
(Check out the Question Study page for help on what questions to use in a discussion. And then go to our Example page for examples and other tips you can use.)
2. Be Interesting
-Watch your tone of voice. Nobody wants to listen to a monotone voice for an hour.
-Change up your lesson by using object lessons, and other ideas from the church’s website or find some on this website.
3. Be Inspiring
GUIDE, Don’t Tell. Help members of the class figure it out for themselves. Talking less and listening more is the secret to being inspiring. If you are very knowledgable about the subject you can add small comments to further the discussion. The members will admire you, and you will inspire them to want to know more. Bear your testimony throughout the lesson.
More To Study From This Website: