Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Journalings of a Primary Teacher {8-11-13}

Journaling has always been hard for me. Which is weird, because I'm an English major, which basically means I was writing ALL THE TIME. But for some reason, I never liked keeping a journal. 

When I was called as a primary teacher, I was very specifically advised to keep a journal. That's part of the reason I started blogging about my experiences in primary. And I'm glad I did, because I love going back and reading the hilarious antics of 7-year-olds, and one day, maybe when I'm trying to teach my own kids, I'll go back and remember all the things I learned. 

This week was just me and 7 kids. Was I a little nervous? Yes. Phew. More like A LOT nervous.

Like, nervous enough that I had a terrifying dream the night before that I showed up to a room full of 12 kids all throwing pens at each other and wildly screaming like jungle children. 

Thankfully.....real life was much, much better. 

I got to meet one of our students who had never come to church before. He's this sweet, quiet kid who looks like he has no idea what to do, and he has absolutely heart-melting blue eyes. At the end of class, each child got a 'faith rock,' on which they wrote the word 'faith' and then got to decorate with markers. This adorable boy wrote 'faith' on one side, and then came up to show me what he had written on the other side. It was 'giraffe.'

I have no idea how he got from 'faith' to 'giraffe, but I had to chuckle. He was just so proud that he knew how to spell 'giraffe.' I  get jumps like that all the time. I'll be teaching about the Holy Ghost, and one boy will raise his hand and say, "Did you know that killer whales EAT dolphins???!"

And I'm like, " Oh, how nice. So back to the lesson...."

And then a girl will pop up out of her seat and come right up to me in the middle of my next sentence, and say, "Um, did you know that, um, I have 4 cousins that are girls?"

There's a lot of pressure here to keep the lessons entertaining--- you can see why.

The other rocks were pretty great too. One girl wrote 'faith' in teeny-tiny letter on one little corner, and then furiously began scribbling with a blue marker all over the entire rock. Another boy wrote 'faith' on one side and then drew a snake on the other side {which I quickly learned was an asp-- like in the scriptures} {at least he's remembering something, right?}. But there was one especially that tugged on my heartstrings: One little girl came up to me to show me her rock, and pointed out to me that she'd even written 'faith' in brown! When I asked her why, she said, "Because faith is like a seed, and seeds are brown. See--- I even drew flowers growing out of the faith!"

The reason I brought 'faith rocks' was to help them internalize the story of the brother of Jared, who took clear stones to the Lord, and when the Lord touched them, they gave off light. The point I was trying to ingrain was that in the story, the brother of Jared had so much faith that he knew the Lord would make the rocks give off light. So you can kinda see how rocks and faith come together here. So after 50 minutes of teaching, telling stories, drawing pictures, and coloring rocks, I felt pretty confident that they'd absorbed at least the basic idea. 

Until we were out in the hallway, and a member of the bishopric happens to stop to visit. 
"So, what'd you guys learn about today?"

And I'm all like, come on kids....come onnnnn......

And one pipes up, "Faith!" And I'm secretly fist-pumping the air, thinking, they learned!

Then he asks, "So what do your rocks have to do with faith?"

And all 7 kids are staring at him, dead quiet, at least 4 of them with their mouths hanging open.


At least it wasn't as bad as the time the kids all came out of the classroom throwing paper airplanes at each other.

 I can't even remember how that happened. 

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