21 Maintain an Appropriate Setting

Teaching The Gospel A CES Resource for Teaching Improvement, (2000), 74–75

Principles to Emphasize

“Read” the Students, and Respond Appropriately

To maintain an appropriate setting where the Spirit is not lost, it is necessary for teachers to “read” what is occurring during the teaching/learning process and to respond appropriately (see Teaching the Gospel: A Handbook, 25).

Maintain Order and Mutual Respect

Teachers will be better able to maintain order and mutual respect if they keep in mind some general principles, follow some specific steps, and take more direct steps when necessary (see Teaching the Gospel: A Handbook, 25–28).

Suggested Training Activities: “Read” the Students, and Respond Appropriately (15 minutes)


List on the board teachers’ responses to the following question: What are some of the things you have observed students doing that have made it difficult to maintain an appropriate setting? Discuss the teachers’ responses.


Have teachers carefully read the paragraph entitled “‘Read’ the students, and respond appropriately” (handbook, 25). Ask teachers to look for the types of problems a teacher might “read” and the possible solutions to those problems. As teachers respond, list the types of problems and the corresponding possible solutions in a two-column chart on the board. The completed chart might look something like the following:

Type of Problem

Possible Solution

Student is bored or restless.

Change the presentation.

Student acts improperly.

Deal with the problem.

Student is not interacting and is alone or lonely.

Give personal attention.

Discuss the value of the solutions presented. Have teachers give ideas about how they can better implement these solutions when they encounter problems in their classrooms.

Suggested Training Activities: Maintain Order and Mutual Respect (35 minutes)

Group Work

Distribute handout 19. Separate teachers into small groups. Assign each group to study one of the following portions of the section entitled “Maintain order and mutual respect for each other” (handbook, 25–28). Corresponding sections are on the handout.

  1. 1.

    General principles (see handbook, 25–26)

  2. 2.

    Specific steps (see handbook, 26–27)

  3. 3.

    More direct steps (see handbook, 27–28)

Following their study, ask a representative from each group to report on the principles or steps the group learned about. Have the representatives help the other teachers fill in the respective portions of the handout. Completed handouts will look something like the following:

General Principles

  1. 1.

    Practice gospel principles in handling the problem.

  2. 2.

    Prepare and present interesting lessons.

  3. 3.

    Begin right.

  4. 4.

    Be prepared.

  5. 5.

    Choose the learning activities carefully.

Specific Steps
More direct Steps

Ask teachers:

  1. In what order can the specific or more direct steps be used?

  2. What is the relationship, if any, between each of the steps?


Show presentation 23, “Maintaining an Appropriate Setting” (10:20). This presentation shows several examples of a teacher observing inappropriate behavior and taking certain steps to maintain an appropriate setting. The scenarios also show steps that can be taken if a teacher’s initial efforts are unsuccessful. Pause after each example, and ask teachers:

  1. What steps were taken to handle the problem?

  2. How did the combination of those steps solve the problem?

  3. What other steps might have been helpful?

Writing Exercise

Have teachers write down a problem they are facing in maintaining an appropriate setting. Ask them to write about the principles or steps they feel are most appropriate to use and how they will use them.


Have teachers read the material in the gray box on page 27 of the handbook. Then ask:

  1. In the video presentations, how was love a part of each teacher’s effort to maintain order and mutual respect?

  2. In your experience, what happens when love is not the motive behind these efforts?

  3. How do the discussed principles and steps help prepare a way for your students’ deliverance? (see D&C 95:1).