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October 15, 2018

The Lead Student Survival Guide

These nine tips will help you become a successful lead student

As a PathwayConnect student, you have the opportunity to be the “lead student” (or facilitator) of at least one of your weekly gatherings. There’s a good chance this may feel intimidating, but don’t worry––we’re here to help!

If you prepare effectively and try your best as a lead student, you will develop communication and leadership skills that will help you reach your educational and employment goals. To help you, here’s the Lead Student Survival Guide, a list of tips to help you have a fun and successful gathering!

1. Pray for guidance

The most important way to prepare to be a lead student is to begin your preparation with sincere prayer. God knows you personally and knows the unique ways you can impact those you teach. He will send promptings through the Holy Ghost as you prayerfully prepare. Be sure to act on those promptings!

God will help you prepare when you pray for His guidance.

2. Keep the end in mind

An effective way to begin a lesson plan is to visualize what you want your audience to gain from it. The lead student lesson plans describe what you and your classmates should be able to know, do, or become after the lesson. Help your classmates understand these goals and plan your lesson to meet them.

3. Plan engaging learning activities

Activities where students engage with one another can make class fun!

We all know how painful it is to sit through a boring class. Other students will tend to enjoy class more when you make the lesson fun and inspiring. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

    • Use visuals
    • Plan engaging learning activities (i.e. the pair and share method)
    • Ask thought-provoking questions
    • Ask students to share insights and experiences
    • Help the students see how the lesson applies to their lives

4. Ask for help

Remember that you are not alone in this responsibility. Your Pathway missionaries are there to help you prepare and succeed. You can also talk to previous lead students and ask what worked for them—there’s a lot you can learn from someone who has already been a lead student!

5. Practice, practice, practice!

Practicing your lesson can help you gain confidence!

We’ve all heard that “practice makes perfect!” Try practicing your lesson with a friend or family member. This will help you be more confident when standing in front of your classmates. As you practice, remember to listen for the Holy Ghost’s guidance and to make appropriate changes to your lesson.

6. Understand and apply the lesson principles

You will be given sufficient time to prepare your lesson. Use that time wisely by applying the principles in your daily life beforehand. This will help you make connections between lesson principles and prepare you to facilitate an enriching discussion.

7. Get to know your peers and their goals

Think of the most inspirational leaders in your life––they are likely those who sought to know you personally and help you reach your goals. When you genuinely seek to know your classmates and to help them reach their goals, they will feel that and will be more likely to listen and participate in your lesson.

Being a lead student is an opportunity to serve!

8. Be patient during silence

Follow these tips for a Spirit-guided, engaging, and successful gathering!

There may be times when you ask a question and all you hear are “crickets.” If you wait 10–15 seconds and still don’t receive a response, give an example and then open it up for discussion again. This gives students enough time to think of an insight to share.

9. Make students feel valued

Students want to feel that their contributions are valued. You can express this by listening carefully and attentively as they speak, expressing gratitude for their contributions, and validating their comments. By directly responding to your classmates’ questions and comments, you show that you care.

Whether you’ve been a lead student before or not, hopefully after reading this you’re feeling more confident!

Remember that God is with you. As you seek His guidance through the Holy Ghost and His will for the students in your gathering, you will lead a successful gathering.


For more information on how to be a successful lead student, refer to the Lead Student Guide.

Comments on "The Lead Student Survival Guide"

William Torngren says:

Wonderful! Wonderful! This is an amazing tool that will bless the lives of any Pathway student that is to become a lead student if they will just read through it and apply the principles taught therein.

J.A. Bañez says:

Thank you for your positive response! Please share it to new or experienced PathwayConnect students and anyone involved in PathwayConnect that you might know!

Monica Silot says:

I am the lead student for week 5 and I am so grateful for this survival guide. Thank you for this!

J.A. Bañez says:

We are excited for you, Monica! Please update us on how it goes!

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