It seems like too many times this year I’ve sat in a class (Elder’s Quorum invariably) where the teacher confesses complete lack of preparation. It’s a deflating experience. I look forward to reading some of yours in the comments!
Similar to the unprepared teacher is the absent one. I’ve had to pinch hit a few times this year. Luckily I’m a gospel doctrine instructor and so I’ve used already-prepared lesson plans. This is better than the usual go-to solution: reading straight from the manual and asking the class to share “personal experiences.” “Does anyone have anything to add to that? No? OK, moving to the next paragraph.”
But let’s say you’re supposed to pinch hit and you don’t have old lesson materials you can reuse. What do you do? What have you seen done?
Here’s one possibility:
Ask class members to open their scriptures to a book you like, or one that has been the subject of a recent lesson, and look for things they’ve underlined. (This may be trickier with electronic scriptures. I don’t know how many people mark those up. I am tied to my paper editions.) Then facilitate the discussion from there. Did anyone else underline the same excerpts? Nearby excerpts? Why those excerpts? What does this suggest about reading scriptures individually? In groups? Etc.
Granted, depending on your class this could turn into an utter disaster. I’ve had some positive experiences with it, though. If you have better ideas for pinch-hitting lessons (hopefully more than “I looked up Ben Spackman’s lesson outlines at Patheos” [or Kevin Barney’s, or Exponent II’s notes, or the Mormon Women Project notes, etc.], although in many cases those folks come in handy) please share them here, too.
[For more of my Tips for Teachers, see the links at the top of this post.]