If you get the joke, then you and I were probably in high school at the same time.

I believe it was in December of last year, though it may have been a bit earlier, when I was called out of Nursery and into Primary.  Called away from the world of toddlers, toys and snack-time (which was the perfect time to teach the lesson because then they were sitting still with their mouths full!) and into the world of… tweens.

Personally, I intensely dislike this new concept of "tweens."  Lord knows we don't need to give kids another reason to angst and cop an attitude.  On the other hand, the oldest girl in my class is 10 and she could pass for 15 without making you blink.  What do you do about kids like that?  This poor little girl is getting hit on by guys.  You can't simply pretend she's too young to understand; she needs to be able to able to handle herself and recognize inappropriate behaviour.  She isn't truly a child nor truly a teen.

The first month or so was great.  I was given the Valiant Girls class (hereon referred to as "Valiant Femmes" because personally, I think the name rocks).  The girls seemed eager to please and I was eager to be the fun, cool teacher.  Then they got comfortable with me and let their true faces show.

I began considering bringing duct-tape and rope to class.  Most of them have very, robust shall we say, personalities.  One of the youngest also has the biggest mouth, which I can assure you that the older girls do not appreciate.  It's been about six months and I think they are beginning to get the idea that I'm the teacher and they don't need to continutally "police" each other.

It's been a challenge teaching them.  More of a challenge than I expected.  Twice I've had very clear and nerve-wracking dreams about my old job and I know I can lay them to the door of the Valiant Femmes.  In one dream I was struggling to remember how to prepare for a Kids' Class.  The bell rang to begin and I was nowehere near ready!  I dug frantically through a box of materials and babbled away at the child, hoping that neither she nor her mother would notice my difficulties.  Then I turned around and discovered that, despite the fact that my school only offered one-on-one Kids' Class, two more children had arrived!  It doesn't take a degree or even revelation from God to figure that one out.  Really, how does one manage when the activities and questions you had planned for four must be presented to one?  It's SO much easier to expand than it is to contract but that's what I had to do last week and I really feel I failed.  Class was wonderfully quiet and easy but it was also just a long question-and-answer session.  I'm sure she was bored and I'm not sure how many of her answers were her just saying what she thought I wanted to hear.

I was excited when I heard that the Beta version of the new LDS.org would include helps for teaching lessons.  I was rather disappointed when I found that it was just an on-line version of the manual.  There's a stake primary teacher's conference/training seminar that they're doing on the 10th and I'm really, really looking forward to that.  In the meantime, I'm interested in hearing other people's Sunday School experiences.  It doesn't matter what age you taught, I'd just like to exchange trials, troubles, jokes, and hints.

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