Adapting the Lesson



1.  Individualism in Teaching

Now comes individualism in teaching, which is the secret of all true teaching.  Christ taught salvation to both Nicodemus and the Samaritan woman, and his doctrines were nearly the same in both instances.  But his method varied.  He encouraged the woman, he reproved the rabbi; he drew out the Samaritan, he repress the Jew with his conceit of knowledge. 

So must we study out methods of applying the lesson to the varied conditions of our students.  Always keep them in mind as we are sifting the lesson and making ready what and how we will teach.

2.  Questions

Write down questions, as you are making ready the lesson plan.  See that each has point and compels thought.  Adapt them to the varied conditions of the children.  Be sure that you include in your plan something for every student in the class.  Never let a student go from you without having had some direct part in the hour's teaching.  Knowing the children intimately as you should, you can "feather" and aim your questions as the archer feathers and aims his arrows - at a definite mark.

3.  Timing

The last thing to do in planning a lesson will be to allow to each part of it its definite portion of time.  There will be some reviewing at the beginning, some making plain the hard words of the text, some clearing up of strange allusions and customs, some exploration of the people and places of the lesson, some drill of the entire class on the points you desire especially to emphasize - all of these bringing out clearly the one great spiritual truth which the lesson is designed to teach and which your students need to know and receive.

How much time is to be given here and there, to this or that part of the teaching, common sense and teaching experience must decide.  One thing, however, is plain:  if you spend most of the time on the scaffolding, little will be left for the building itself.  If the time is frittered away in cracking the nut, there will be no profit from the uneaten kernel.  The lesson fails if it does not reach the conscience and heart, and only the truth in the lesson will do that.  (1)