Preparation: The Key to Success in the Classroom

There are no shortcuts to a well-prepared lesson. Preparing a lesson well is hard work and requires a commitment of time, but it blesses both the teacher and the student. Conversely, nothing will discourage an audience more than a speaker who announces that there was no time to prepare for the presentation. It leaves the listeners wondering why they showed up at all. If you have the privilege to teach a class, you owe it to the students, to yourself, and to the Lord to be well prepared.

key-96233 640Spiritual Preparation

No spiritual purpose is ever accomplished solely through human abilities. Spend time in prayer for the Holy Spirit's guidance and anointing as you prepare for every session. The Spirit must accompany your efforts if they are to be successful. Ask the Holy Spirit to illuminate the minds of your students and to open their hearts to receive life-changing and eternal truths.

Classroom and Materials Preparation

Arrange the meeting room before class begins to avoid interruptions, delays, and dead time. Keep in mind that the classroom is a learning environment. Your teaching will be more effective if distractions are minimized.

Arrange the seating so students and teacher have good eye contact and students can see instructional presentations. You can arrange the chairs in a half circle for full-group instruction or in small clusters for small-group discussions.

If you are using any audio or video resources, be sure they are in working order before the start of class. While the students may provide their own pens and paper, it is a good idea to keep a collection of old pens and pencils on hand for use when someone forgets.

Administrative Preparation

If you will be using study guides or lesson booklets for the class, be sure they are available when the first class session begins. The first session should be an introduction to the course and the teacher's goals. This is also an excellent opportunity for the students to define their own personal goals for the study.

You may choose a class president and secretary to oversee some of the classroom procedures. The president may be responsible for starting the class with a chorus and opening prayer. A secretary can be given record-keeping responsibilities for attendance.

Instructional Preparation

As the teacher, you should have a thorough understanding of the course objectives as well as the individual lesson goals. The learning goals for each class session should include attitude goals as well as knowledge goals. Be sure that the objectives are relevant to the particular needs of the group. You are responsible for verifying that the objectives are being met. You can do this using discussion questions tied specifically to the stated objectives.

Once you have mastered the subject material, you must plan a teaching schedule for the whole course. How many class sessions will be needed to cover the material? Once the time limits for the course have been announced, you must be committed to finish on schedule. This will result in credibility and will allow for scheduling of other courses to follow.

Weekly lesson preparation includes a thorough understanding of the lesson goals as well as a teaching plan for the lesson. A session outline helps you cover the necessary content while leaving room for group discussion and participation. To be effective teachers, we must study to show ourselves approved (2 Tim. 2:15), constantly improving and developing our ministry. Solid preparation will enhance a positive learning experience.

By Julie Kraus