Sunday, May 8, 2011

Miss Bad Attitude

  Let me start by saying Happy Mother's Day to all you Mums out there, and especially to my own Mom, who is pretty much the most amazing woman alive!

  So, I have a new calling. My old calling was Visiting Teaching Coordinator, or President, or something like that. Maybe it says something about me that I never remembered what my official title was. Anyway, it was pretty much the sweetest gig in Calling Land. No stress at all until the end of the month, when I nagged my supervisors to call the sisters in the ward to get their VT numbers. I still complained about it, though, as making phone calls to people I don't know well ranks up there in my favorite things to do with dentist visits and vaccuuming (if you don't know me, vaccuums are my nemesis).

  My new calling is Primary Teacher. For CTR Four, or whatever they call the four year old class.

  I'm not great with kids. I never have been. I blame it on the fact that I'm the youngest, and so I never really had babies around growing up. I have no idea how to treat them--do they like to be treated like adults? Can I use my fake high-pitched voice you use for babies on four year olds, or is that annoying? Can I still bribe them with crappy toys from the dollar store?

  Anyway, I think the part I'm dreading the most is that I'm a CO-teacher. And my other co-teacher used to be Relief Society President. Wonder which of us is going to be the weak link there?

  Yesterday I was complaining (because that's what I do) to McKay about how I'm going to be a horrible teacher.

  "No, I think you'll get the swing of things pretty fast." He said. Then seemed to consider that statement, "Well . . . " he added.

  "Never mind?" I jokingly supplied.

  "Yeahhh. I think having another teacher there won't be good for you."

  At first I was (justifiably, I think) annoyed by his vote of confidence in me. But after a minute, I realized he knew me too well. I really don't like being watched while I try to figure something out. Being watched = being judged (in my mind), and nothing makes me into a big ball of indecision and self-consciousness quite like feeling I'm being judged. And self-consciousness tends to lead to my making outrageously blundering mistakes. On the plus side, that should lead to some excellent blog fodder.

  Anyway, this whole thing is just a very premature complaint and rant since I haven't even met my co-teacher yet, or my class. I'm afraid I don't like change very much, and what-with my just getting familiar with the nagging-of-my-supervisors, I feel a bit panicky.

  Any advice on teaching kids? Especially on figuring out how to do it while someone is watching you?


  1. That's a hard age. Some kids like to act like grown ups, some like babies. And they switch back and forth between the two. My advice, since you asked, is to give them a lot of praise. Whichever mood the kids are in they'll feel like you love and accept them. And they'll love you back for it. As Rulon would say, "That's my two cents. It's worth every penny."

  2. Andrew and I have spent the last 4 to 5 months in Nursery. The one bit of advice I can give you is to not have any set plans. The kids can be really crabby one day and angels the next. If the lesson is only 2 minutes, or 1 sentence it's ok. Just enjoy their innocence.

  3. Just be yourself around the kids and around the other teacher. You won't have to worry about the kids liking you, you're young and super cool! At that age they love anyone that gives them attention. And as long as you don't act inferior, I don't think you'll have any problems with a co-teacher. Be confident and act like you know what you're doing! You'll be golden.

  4. sorry I comment a lot and this isn't really advice....just sympathy :) 4 year olds have got to be one of the most annoying ages to me. My guess is that having a co-teacher for that cranky, manipulative age will be a life saver to you. You'll probably be perfect for each other and it's always nice to have another girl to talk to. Good luck!