Sunday, March 1, 2015

Teaching Four Year Olds

More specifically, Teaching 4 yr olds the Gospel.

I have been a Mom and a Grandma for most of my life (do the math--it's true). Yet most Sunday's I really struggle with feeling successful as a Primary teacher in my ward. I only have four or five little ones in my class. They are comfortable enough with me, meaning they don't get sad or cry when we are in class.  But most days I just go home and wonder what, if anything, got through.  I know they come from wonderful homes where their parents are diligently teaching them the Gospel. One of these little guys just kept talking and talking and TALKING one day while I was trying to talk. You want to know what he was saying?  His testimony. Yes, that is way more important than whatever the teacher is blathering on  about.

One day we were trying to talk about serving and "being Jesus' hands" so I told the story of the statue of Jesus in  the German town during WWII and the town was bombed. The statue was damaged, and most of it could be repaired except the hands. A sign was placed below the statue stating that WE are His hands.  I am pretty sure that when asked about what they learned in Primary that day, they probably said something about bombs. They kept bringing that up, again and again in class.  It's not nice to bomb towns and people. Bombs are bad. Bombs, bombs, bombs. That was what stuck.

Some lessons in the  manual are better than others. Sometimes I am better prepared than others. Sometimes  it doesn't matter how prepared I am  if I forget to pick kp my coloring page when I leave the house. Which is what I did today.  It was a fun little maze, but it was home and we were in class.

I really thought we were in for an extra trying day this Sabbath when it started off with boy number one crying because boy number two ran ahead of him in the hallway on the way to our class room.  Boy number one did NOT want number two to beat him to our room!  Such competition.

There were four little ones in class today. Cute kids , all. Wonderful families. We wanted to talk about prophets. The Lord calls prophets. Prophets help guide us, and we have a prophet today.

Three to five minutes into a typical class period (which is about 35 to 45 minutes long), one will usually ask, "How much longer till this is over?"  A little alarming and disarming to the teacher, I must admit.  But we forge ahead.  MANY weeks I will be told in no uncertain terms, "I want to play a game! Don't you have any games?"  Well, yeah. But not a lot, and not for every minute of every lesson.  We sing, I sing,  they listen. We color, sometimes there's a game. There are pictures, stories, a little activity. Sometimes some treats!

Today I would consider one of the more successful days. I was asked once at the beginning "WHEN are we going to  be done with this?" But I did  not take it personally and forged ahead after giving my answer.

No one asked to play a game.
No one asked for food.
No one fell off their chair or got hurt.
No one fought over saying prayers or not saying a prayer.
Most of the competition ended with the first and only hallway racing incident.
No one was bleeding (it happens when they are "pickers").
No one had  boogger problems (close, but not quite).
No one had to leave to go potty or get a drink.

And the bell rang to signal the end at just the right time. I was so pleased, so relieved. Parents or siblings came in a timely manner to claim their little ones, and I went home feeling not quite as defeated or exhausted as in previous weeks.
Yes, prayer works.

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