The purpose of the See the One priority is to help administrators and teachers with the following: (1) develop the Christlike ability to see beyond labels, outward appearances, and behaviors in order to view students as unique and precious individuals with divine potential; (2) understand how individual circumstances affect the learning experience, and develop the practical skills necessary to respond to students' individual needs; and (3) become familiar with available resources to help meet individual needs, and as appropriate, connect students with those resources.
Why is it important for teachers and administrators to seek for the ability to “See the One”?
President Thomas S. Monson has taught, “We have the responsibility to see individuals not as they are but rather as they can become. I would plead with you to think of them in this way” (“See Others as They May Become,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2012, 70). Seeking to see what our students can become helps us to recognize that they all have strengths and can contribute in meaningful ways to our classes. The belief that all students are valuable is the foundation for See the One, and this priority challenges us to see our students as the Savior sees them. With this priority we also recognize that individuals may have challenges that could impact learning and that it is important that, as teachers and administrators, we have the skills and knowledge of available resources to assist with these challenges.
How does the See the One priority relate to the Invite All, Elevate Learning, and Doctrinal Mastery priorities?
See the One relates to each of the above priorities. Many students who fail to enroll, who struggle with attendance, or who have difficulties meeting the Elevate Learning requirements have difficult circumstances in their lives. If we better understood those circumstances and responded to them differently, we could better help them succeed. However, while we should certainly respect individual circumstances, we will not change the doctrine that we teach to fit the individual needs of the students. Instead, the individual circumstances will shape the way that we teach the doctrine, and we will encourage students to seek personal revelation as they strive to acquire spiritual knowledge surrounding particular doctrinal principles.
As an administrator or teacher, what is my role in fulfilling this priority?
Understanding the reasons for choosing this priority can help us in our teaching. It helps us to know how to better help students when they are in our classrooms. One of the objectives of this priority is to let administrators and teachers know what resources are available and how we can connect students with those resources. But in seeking to fulfill this priority we are not asked to fill the role of parents, priesthood leaders, or mental health professionals. Rather, if students make you aware of circumstances that are outside of your reach, these resources will help you to connect your students with the appropriate people who can help.
I think that one of my students has some challenges, but I don’t know where to start in order to help. What should I do?
The best thing that a teacher can do is begin a conversation between the student, the parents, and priesthood leaders. A great place to start is by talking directly with the student. Sometimes, because of embarrassment or not knowing what we should say, we avoid talking to the very people that we are concerned about. But doing so is essential in our efforts to help them progress and succeed. In such circumstances, it is also important that we reach out to parents and priesthood leaders. These individuals know more about their child or ward or branch member than we ever will. They can help us to know of individual circumstances and what our role can be in helping students.
Resources for Additional Study
- Thomas S. Monson, “See Others as They May Become,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2012, 68–71
- Henry B. Eyring, “Walk with Me,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2017, 82–85
- Dale G. Renlund, “Through God’s Eyes,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2015, 93–94
- Joseph B. Wirthlin, “Concern for the One,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2008, 17–20
- S. Mark Palmer, “Then Jesus Beholding Him Loved Him,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2017, 114–16