Serving as a Sunday School President during a time of change and a pandemic can be challenging. In this podcast, Kurt speaks with two leaders who have sought to implement different strategies that might push Sunday School teachers and students in ways that make gospel learning more powerful.

James Grandon

James Grandon has been an elementary school principal in Missouri for over 25 years and holds a master’s degree in education and educational leadership. He currently serves as a bishop, and previously served as a stake Sunday School president.

Highlights

7:40 Principles from Teaching No Greater Call using teaching strategies that were different from lecture

  • Sought to make social connections between the Sunday School presidents in the stake
  • Stake Sunday School presidency modeled the teaching strategies, pairing them with doctrines during ward conferences

Principles of Leadership

  1. 14:30 Change takes time
    • Teacher council meetings are still stretching the culture and can be a revelatory experience
  2. 16:50 Focus on gospel doctrines and people
    • 19:30 Asking class members to teach what they know about a topic, rather than asking them to read a quote
    • “Turn and talk”: Challenging the class a little to make it more personal
    • Modeling in meetings
  3. 27:15 Reimagining teaching strategies
    • Appendix F in Teaching No Greater Call
    • It’s about action and not knowledge

34:45 Online teaching can still be very personal and connect people

Greg Nalder

Greg Nalder lives in Meridian, Idaho, where he works as a software engineer. He currently serves as a Sunday School president and previously served as a bishopric counselor.

Highlights

40:00 For pandemic teaching, his ward has a gospel doctrine class and a youth Sunday School class with split in-person and online students
43:10 Coordinated to hold teacher councils on alternate weeks and had the Primary President lead the Primary teacher councils
45:30 Rotate through attending Sunday School classes to look for some topics they can focus on in teacher councils

Principles of Leadership

  1. 46:50 Don’t just stick to what you know
    • Lead a discussion instead of teaching a class
    • 52:00 Getting away from the lecture: be persistent and don’t be afraid of silence
  2. 53:30 Observe
    • Visit the classes; take the responsibility for finding a substitute, use a list provided by the bishopric, and step in to teach as needed
  3. 58:00 Counsel together as a presidency and invite the bishopric member who is over the Sunday School; don’t do all the talking in teacher councils

1:02:40 Using an online spreadsheet to organize classes, instructors, and rooms, coordinating with the bishopric
1:05:10 Seek to make your calling a joy and blessing to you

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