Sunday, May 15, 2011

Meeting CTR 4

  Let me start out by saying, I have no idea what I'm doing. I'm not great with kids. I have no idea what amount of wiggling/whispering/jumping out of chairs is normal for four-year-olds. And I'm also clueless as how to do that manipulating thing where the kids suddenly want to do what you want them to do because you said it in a way that made it sound fun.

  But even considering that, I have to say I'm pretty much the most pathetic Primary teacher ever.

  During the hour of Sharing Time, I asked politely/nagged/begged my half of the class not to:
  • wander out of their seats
  • yell out answers to questions
  • complain loudly (VERY loudly) when they were not called on every single time there were participation opportunities
  • rock their chair dangerously far
  • hit their neighbor 
  • walk over to their mothers (seemed like all of their mothers work in primary)
  • purposefully bump into each other repeatedly 
  • mess up each others' hair (I knew this was going to end with more hitting. And I was right)
  • Kick the chairs ahead of them, trying to scoot them farther away. 
  Unfortunately, my asking/pleading/begging didn't make much of an impact.
       The second time Maddy and Tossi hit each other, the Primary second counselor saw and stopped her lesson to reprimand them (pointing out just how ineffectual a teacher I am). Tossi defended her actions, as it was in reciprocation. Other teachers called for them to be separated, while I turned red and tried to figure out how to do this exactly (I was sure they would listen to my separation instructions about as much as they had my no-hitting instructions). Luckily, my very competent co-teacher took charge. . After the debacle, I looked around the room, hoping to see other classes with unruly children. To my dismay, they were all sitting demurely, cuddling up to their teachers, and raising their hands quietly to answer questions.

      Well, crap. It made me feel even better when Maddy whispered loudly to her mother (who is my co-teacher), "She's really bossy!".

      After church was over, I apologized to my co-teacher for my general worthlessness.
    "Oh, no!" she assured me. "They were so much better this week with you here!"

      I tried to be comforted by that statement, rather than be thrown into a pit of despair.


    1. Primary is an interesting place. It has the power to reduce otherwise strong Mormon women to tears some days, and I'm not talking about the "I'm so touched by the Spirit" tears. I think all of us remember our first Primary calling, and how inadequate and ineffectual we felt. Believe it or not, it will get better. In the meantime, just realize that the other women really have been in your shoes, and they really are trying to be supportive. For what it's worth, I'm not so fond of the age of 4. Three is cute, five is helpful, but four delights in pushing the limits. (But I guess you know that.) I'm sure you're doing a great job! Those kids soak up what you're teaching, even when they are hiding under chairs, etc. :-)

    2. oh julia!!! Like I said before that is my least favorite age because they're such stinkers. I'm sure that is why they appeared to be the most disobedient. Hang in there, it's a great "growing" experience lol.

    3. In my ward in CA, we had some girls in this age group who would twirl non-stop for all of sharing time. And later we had a group that all fully evacuated their row weekly and they had two teachers, too. I took a child development class in which the (LDS) professor indicated that the demands of the 3 hour block are above the developmental level of all children under 5.

    4. That actually makes me feel a lot better. Thanks, Mandy!