One large concern that I have regarding the lesson schedules

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johnshaw
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One large concern that I have regarding the lesson schedules

Postby johnshaw » Sat Feb 25, 2012 12:19 pm

As a former Sunday School President, Gospel Doctrine teacher, Early morning Seminary Teacher - I had to learn a very large lesson. I learned it as an instructor, long before being called as a SS president where I finally put a lot of the pieces together that are important to Gospel Teaching in the church.

There are multiple reasons that we have a curriculum that is the same basically from 13 years of age and older to use SS as an example, and it is not only about translation. It is key as a teacher, and the manuals all support this, that we be prepared with multiple 'modules' (for lack of a better term), or key principles covered in the manual. Too many teachers (bad ones) focus on THEIR own presentation of the material that THEY have prepared - it's more about them (we're all learning, but many times teachers never move beyond this). These kinds of teachers are more interested in presenting the material than in the class having a real spiritual feast (again, they really don't recognize or understand the difference, it is not that they are weak spiritually, it is about effective teaching, and that is a learned trait). I remember as a teacher sometimes not even covering the points in the lesson that I had prepared because of a sacrament meeting talk that was discussed, or any number of reasons that stopping the spiritual feast would've really been a bad decision. I think that good to great teachers can recognize these moments and choose to throw out the prepared lesson for the greater light and knowledge happening in the class. I hope those of you reading this don't automatically assume that this is the result of wanting to teach whatever you want or bringing outside material into the lessons... this is NOT what I'm talking about, and I acknowledge that this event is rare, and was rare for me in teaching. BUT it does bear on the point that I wanted to make.

I believe that allowing teachers the ability modify the lessons will encourage a behavior that is bad for families in the church. It is strategically important for wards, branches, and families that lessons for adults and teens are taught the same week --> This encourages further teaching in the home. Frankly, I trust my wife and I more than I trust a SS teacher in my ward to teach my daughters the gospel. When mom, dad, and kids all are taught the same principles, the same week at church --> it can encourage a great gospel discussion in the home on those same principles. The same goes for husbands and wives, notice that at least 3 of 4 typical weeks, the RS and MP go through the same lessons. If we allow teachers to go in and modify lessons so that they can get to some 'important' things they think are right (or that they want to cover), getting their lessons out of synch with all other classes in the ward or branch, I believe we will do a disservice to parents and families in the church.

Please consider removing the access for Teachers to modify lesson schedules, leaving it to SS Presidencies, and Bishopric + Clerk + ExecSec.

russellhltn
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Postby russellhltn » Sun Feb 26, 2012 1:11 pm

JohnShaw wrote:Please consider removing the access for Teachers to modify lesson schedules, leaving it to SS Presidencies, and Bishopric + Clerk + ExecSec.


For the regular Sunday School, RS/PH classes, and so forth, I would agree. Those things need to be coordinated at a level above the instructor. The instructor might want to add resources or reading material, for their particular class but really shouldn't be able to change the schedule.

However, for classes on Temple Prep, Family History, etc. I can see the advantage of allowing the instructor the freedom to set the schedule. In those situations, I think the only thing coordinated is the start/end dates. Most everything else is left up to the instructor.
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kisaac
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Postby kisaac » Mon Feb 27, 2012 12:43 am

JohnShaw wrote:Please consider removing the access for Teachers to modify lesson schedules, leaving it to SS Presidencies, and Bishopric + Clerk + ExecSec.

While adding complexity, the application could be modified to give an admin the option to define which courses give the instructors the ability to modify, and which courses grant no ability to the instructor to modify the lesson schedule.

jdcr256
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Postby jdcr256 » Fri Mar 02, 2012 2:53 pm

While the help documentation lists instructors as being able to edit their lesson schedule, this is actually disabled in the app currently (the functionality for it was never completely built). However, this is functionality that will definitely be included. We were almost denied the go ahead for a release because there were worries that this functionality would not be there. So, if it's not there immediately, it will be available in the near future.

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johnshaw
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Postby johnshaw » Fri Mar 02, 2012 2:57 pm

that is unfortunate in my opinion, I hope ward and branch leaders stay on top of effective gospel teaching, and train their people to stick with the plan, update information as needed, but I fear instructors will see this as a license to modify lesson plans getting them out-of-synch with the rest of the ward.


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