Orienting New Teachers: A Responsibility of Priesthood and Auxiliary Leaders

“Orienting New Teachers: A Responsibility of Priesthood and Auxiliary Leaders,” Teaching in the Savior’s Way (2015)


If you are a priesthood or auxiliary leader, you have the responsibility to “meet individually with newly called teachers in [your] organizations, preferably before each teacher’s first lesson” (Handbook 2: Administering the Church [2010], 5.5.3). These meetings are an opportunity to introduce new teachers to their sacred callings and inspire them with a vision of what it means to teach in the Savior’s way. As a leader, you can help new teachers prepare to serve by doing the following things:

Discuss What It Means to Teach in the Savior’s Way

To help the new teacher understand how the Savior taught and what that means for teachers, briefly discuss the following principles with the new teacher:

  • Love those you teach. Help the new teacher focus on the needs of the people he or she is teaching. Invite the new teacher to look for their strengths and unique needs. If necessary, provide a list of class members. Remind the new teacher that he or she is responsible to help those learners who do not attend class regularly. Encourage the teacher to prayerfully seek ways to reach out to these people.

  • Teach by the Spirit. Discuss the importance of preparing spiritually to teach. Because the promptings of the Holy Ghost come line upon line, encourage the new teacher to begin preparing to teach at least one week in advance and to seek inspiration throughout the week.

  • Teach the doctrine. Bear your testimony of the power of the word of God to change hearts. Invite the new teacher to study the scriptures and the words of living prophets on the assigned teaching topics before referring to any supplemental material. Encourage the teacher to record the spiritual impressions that he or she receives while studying and to focus on principles and resources that build faith and encourage Christlike living.

  • Invite diligent learning. Help the new teacher understand that teaching means more than just making a presentation; it means encouraging people to become responsible for their own gospel learning and to edify one another as gospel learners (see D&C 88:122).

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Discuss Your Specific Organization

In addition to discussing general principles of Christlike teaching, you might take some time to share with the new teacher anything about your organization that would be helpful. Are there any needs you have discussed as a presidency that you would like your teachers to be aware of? For example, if an elders quorum presidency has felt inspired to emphasize quorum unity, how could the quorum instructors support that goal? If the bishop has asked the ward council to improve reverence in the ward, how could Primary teachers help?

As needed, tell the new teacher which room to teach in and what lesson to begin with, and provide any information the teacher needs about the class and class members.

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Offer Ongoing Support

Explain that you can help the new teacher with his or her calling in any way and provide support in the classroom if needed. You could even offer to observe the new teacher’s class occasionally and provide feedback. Give the teacher a copy of this resource and explain when the monthly teacher council meetings are held. Explain the purposes of these meetings and the expectation that the new teacher participate.

Encourage the new teacher to visit the My Calling section of LDS.org and the Gospel Library app for more about how to grow as a teacher.