Each ward should hold quarterly teacher council meetings in which teachers can counsel together about principles of Christlike teaching.
When should these meetings be held?
Teacher council meetings should normally take place during the 50-minute class time of the two-hour schedule of Sunday meetings.
· Priesthood, Relief Society, and Young Women teachers can attend on either the first or third Sunday, as determined by local leaders.
· Sunday School teachers can attend on either the second or fourth Sunday, as determined by local leaders.
· Primary teachers can attend on any Sunday, as determined by the ward Primary and Sunday School presidencies. If desired, Primary teachers may meet separately from other teachers to counsel about the unique needs of teaching children. More than one council may be held during a quarter for Primary teachers, with only a portion of teachers attending each, so that all the teachers do not miss Primary classes the same week. (Note: As needed, the Primary presidency assigns substitute teachers, combines classes, or makes other arrangements to allow Primary teachers to attend teacher council meetings.)
Who should attend?
Everyone who teaches a quorum or class in the ward should attend, along with at least one of the priesthood or auxiliary leaders responsible for those teachers. If necessary, participants may be divided into groups according to the needs of those they teach. For example, teachers of youth or children may benefit from meeting separately on occasion to discuss issues specifically related to teaching youth or children.
Who leads these meetings?
The ward council, with assistance from the Sunday School presidency, oversees teacher council meetings. In most cases, a member of the Sunday School presidency acts as discussion leader for the meetings; other ward members may be assigned to lead meetings on occasion.
What should happen in a teacher council meeting?
(Note: These instructions are for discussion leaders.) After an opening prayer, the teacher council meeting should follow this format:
· Share and counsel together. Invite teachers to share recent teaching experiences, ask questions related to teaching, and share ideas for overcoming challenges. This part of the meeting could include a review of principles discussed in previous meetings.
· Learn together. Invite teachers to discuss one of the principles presented in this resource. The principles may be addressed in any order, and unless otherwise directed by the ward council, the participants in the meeting may choose the next principle to be discussed. It is not necessary to cover every aspect of the principle in one teacher council meeting—you can spend more than one meeting on a principle if needed.
· Practice and invite. As appropriate, help teachers practice the principle they have discussed. Invite them to record and act upon any impressions they receive about how to apply the principle in their teaching—including in their efforts to teach in their homes. Encourage them to begin studying the next principle to be discussed.
As much as possible, teacher council meetings should model the principles being discussed.