To the Teacher
As the leader of the class, please take the time to prepare. You will see that each lesson plan is divided into three sections: Goals, Preparation, and Class Outline.
Keep the goals in mind as you prepare for and lead the sessions.
Because facts and figures are changing and because (as youíll see in the second essay in the Reader) death penalty details vary from state to state, youíll need to do some preparation research. Some of that preparation should be done days (or even weeks) ahead. Iíve tried to provide helps and hints to make that easier for you. Also, there are some audio visual decisions youíll need to make prior to certain sessions. It may be worthwhile to read through the whole set of session outlines before you begin.
Each class outline has times associated with each activity. These are estimates based on testing the curriculum, but your experience will vary depending on your class size, how talkative your class is, and what ends up interesting them. Iíve assumed 90 minutes for each class, though recommendations for dividing the classes into 45-50 minute sessions are included.
Each class session always begins and ends with prayer. Because this is an emotional and volatile issue, because this is literally a matter of life and death, the members of your class will probably have strong feels and opinions. As your class begins, ground your group in the loving presence of God so that all may truly hear what each person has to say. And as each session concludes, thank God for the sharing and growth that occurs during the session.
I encourage you to take a moment after each session to evaluate how it went. What works well with your class participants? What doesnít? How can you take what youíve learned about them, how they discuss, what engages them, and use that in future session?
Finally, throughout this process, I ask that you pray. Sit with God so you can experience Godís love for you. Hold you students and all those affected by the death penalty in prayer before God: prisoners, their families, prison employees, victims, and victimsí families. You are doing an important ministry when you teach. Thank you for doing it.
Rev. Jeffrey S. Spencer
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