- The church wants to improve the quality of teaching in their classes. Some are concerned about biblical illiteracy. Others simply want to improve the class experience for those who attend.
- They want teachers to get better at teaching, but most of the teachers have never had any sort of training in how to teach.
- Previous teacher training events have not resulted in the change they wanted. Many of the teachers did not participate in the training event.
- The vast majority of teachers are volunteers. They have job and family obligations. They have very little margin in their schedules. Teaching a class is already extra work. Going to regular teacher training events is too much to handle.
Specific Areas in Need of Improvement
Literally Do Not Know How to Teach
Volunteer teachers tend to teach in the same way they have been taught. They do not know there are different approaches to teaching that could be more effective depending on the subject and the group. Most have never had any formal training.
Feel Unqualified to Teach
Some people recognize they lack experience and training. The idea of “teaching” causes anxiety. They would rather be called a “facilitator” because of this. They need to understand, even as a facilitator, they are teaching.
Do Not Understand Differences Among Learners
Many of these teachers do not understand the specific differences among the people in their classes. Those they teach are diverse in their current knowledge; have had different church experiences; and have different worldviews. One approach to teaching will not reach most people.
Prior Knowledge Problems
Volunteer teachers are often not aware that learners sometimes hold inaccurate and insufficient understanding of Bible concepts. Some are not aware of how literary genres affect the interpretation of different books of the Bible. And sometimes people struggle with Bible study because they are not connecting what they previously learned about the topic to what is being taught now.
Responsibility for Learning
Many volunteer teachers do not understand that learning happens within the learner. The teacher does play an important part in leading the learner to understand—to truly learn. However, when people learn anything, that learning happens within their own brain. What the teacher is able to do is make the information or skills easier for them to understand and do.
Teacher training can improve the quality of teaching in this church. However, volunteers are unable to commit to regular teacher training sessions because they are busy with jobs and family obligations. They need a training solution that can fit into their schedules so they can learn to teach better when and where it is most convenient for them.