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This last Sunday I attended my first Teaching Council Meeting in my ward!

Teacher Council Meetings :

Elder Holland teaches what these meetings are supposed to look like and I realized this is what our BYU-Idaho teaching group meetings should look like too! :-).

Here is what they are to look like:

#1. Held Monthly

#2. Everyone who Teaches Should Attend

#3. There is a leader to guide the meeting, but all should participate

#4. Begin with a Prayer

#5. Share and Counsel Together: -- Talk about how things are going, share experiences, share challenges, real people, real challenges, real solutions, ask questions, share ideas.

#7. Learn Together -- Select One Principle from the handbook on "Teaching in the Savior's Way"and discuss it as a group. (For us at BYU-I, it might also include something from the Online Teaching Learning Conference, Instructor Handbook, OL200, Teaching in the Savior's Way, some other principle that will help us in our teaching or specific to our field or courses!)

#8. Practice and Invite -- Practice a New Skill Learned or Discussed, Try Something new as a group, Invite teachers to use skill, write down experience, and select the principle to work and discuss for the next meeting.

#9. Model the Skills that are being discussed in the meeting!

* My experience this week -- As teachers in our group began sharing real challenges and other teachers shared insights or tactics that teacher might try -- the greatest blessing came as the Spirit entered the group and people shared things they felt inspired to share and we all felt encouraged, strengthened and blessed! The Spirit was the most important member of our teacher council because He taught each of us something small and specific that we each needed. I am grateful for the Spirit of God that can bless us as we gather together in the work of the Lord!

What are your thoughts? What can we learn from our Ward Teacher Councils that will bless us in our Teaching Groups and Course Councils here at BYU-Idaho?

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  • Tanya, 

    Thank you so much for insights and comparison. This will be my first semster as a TGL and this is very helpful! 

    • You will be great Kami!

  • What a great correlation. One wonderful thing about working at BYU-I is the overlap between our work here and our work in the church. Definitely some good principles to apply.

  • Thanks for sharing these thoughts!  I was recently called as the Sunday School President in my ward and have enjoyed learning about the Teacher Council Meetings and am looking forward to implementing these in my ward.  Our first attempt will be in August.  I am looking forward to applying these principles to leadership at BYU-Idaho.  The topics also are very pertinent and can be easily applied.  As a TGL, we had success at a team meeting this semester in which we discussed International Students.  Each team member participated as we shared thoughts together.  The most important thing was that the Spirit was present.  One of my team members sent a response to me after the meeting stating how he felt encouraged and inspired.  I know that this was not because of me, but it was a direct reflection of the Holy Ghost being present.  I'm grateful for the guidance of the Spirit in the work that we do.

    • What a beautiful experience Brother Nelson!  The Spirit is such a powerful teacher!  I remember learning about how the 12 council together and that as everyone shares their thoughts, insights and experiences - though they may be different -- as they invite the spirit and all seek to share what the Spirit teaches them they come to a consensus on how they should move forward the work of God.  I am excited for you in your new calling!  I am sure your first meeting will be a great one!

  • Great post Tanya!  I started "discussions" which are led by one of the members of the group (not me as the TGL) last semester with my teaching group instead of strictly "presentations" by members and I believe it's been a good success.  Everyone has the opportunity to share their own experiences and it has brought some great ideas to our group.  Presentations are still really good for everyone to be able to share what they have learned but now we do 1-2 short presentations and then 1 instructor-led discussion about a topic either chosen based on weekly reflection comments or otherwise inspired.  It is noted in the weekly email the discussion topic and to be prepared to share.  We've had some not be able to attend but still submit their contribution so that we are still all participating.  We could probably even take this a step further and apply to those with class meetings and/or more interactive discussion groups in our courses- have the students come prepared to discuss a topic/subject/theme, etc. being led and directed by the Spirit.  

    • You have done a fantastic job with our teaching group meetings. The discussions have been so helpful and I feel like I know our group members better.

    • Oh - I really like this idea to have a "Discussion"  where all know their imput is needed!   What a fantastic way to get everyone involved and I think follows the plan of counseling together!  I want to do this next semester!

  • Tanya, I appreciate the comparison you make between BYU-Idaho Teaching Groups and Church Teacher Councils. I think it is a good comparison. Key to your post is the idea of having the Holy Ghost involved in our meetings (and online discussions). We have the benefit of technology where we can join with like-minded instructors outside of time and space to share what we know and ask questions of each other to improve our teaching. We could all learn a thing or two at what the Church is attempting to do with Teacher Council Meetings.

    • Thanks Jerrod! One thing that is fun here at BYU-I is having this online forum where our discussions can continue!    On Sunday I was wishing there was a place more could continue to share after the council was over!  

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