No wet pants. No gum in hair. And no bloody nose. Teaching primary today was entirely uneventful, except to say that I love it more and more every week. As I’ve started to get to know these kids, I am starting to see how it is that God loves all of us, even with our quirks and flaws and stupid choices.
The one thing I will say for this week is that I think my co-teacher, Jessica, and I are slowly figuring out how to manage our “classroom”. We met for dessert on Tuesday to discuss the kids and how we wanted to run things. The teacher before us had set up three ground rules that she had shared with Jessica, and I agreed that we should continue with them. They are basic. These kids are four. It works.
- Keep your hands to yourself
- Stay on your seat
- Don’t talk when someone else is talking
What is amazing to me is how well kids react to structure when you are consistent with it.
We also decided that where the kids sit would help. There are just a few kids that are little busier than the others. We also have a set of twins who like to always sit next to each other. So, we’re mixing things up. We had them each color their own name tags today and I will get them laminated and put magnets on them to stick on the chairs each week. We were a little curious to see how they’d react to this forced seating, but they were all so excited to find their name that I don’t think they even thought about the change. We’ll see how it goes next week.
The other great thing about these, as I discovered today, is that I can use them in order to randomly call on people. Just like in any classroom, you have kids that are always answering questions and sharing and others that don’t ever participate. It was seriously amazing to see how, if the kids new that I would be calling on them they a) listened a little better and b) were willing to answer.
So, all in all, things are going well. And not only do I just love these kids, I’ve discovered that I really look forward to church and it seems to fly by. I’m actually going to be sad to miss next week.
Now, as far as the lesson was concerned, it might not have been my best lesson ever. I could have done a better job with a few of the elements. That said, my goal is really for these kids to just know that I love them. And I think I accomplished that today. So, overall, a success.
And just because some of you might have kids in primary, a couple helpful things that will make life a little easier for your kids’ teachers:
- No gum
- Unless you’re providing snacks for everyone (or your kid has medical needs), don’t send your kid in with them
- While teachers of the younger children understand that wiping noses is part of the job, it’s nice if you can at least drop your kid off with a clean face
- Your child’s favorite toy/blanket/etc can be very distracting and we don’t really need any additional distractions