Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Teaching By Faith

Today I was studying for my class on Sunday, and came across the article in this month's Ensign about Teaching By Faith. As I was sitting there in the quiet house while Harper was sleeping, and trying my darndest to figure out how to get our class to actually absorb what we're saying, I started thinking about our current calling. Mike and I have 6-10 (depending on the week) 5 year olds BUT! we have what the primary president calls "The Challenging Group". See, we have 2 who are on A.D.D. meds, one who has anger issues that his family refuses to acknowlege, one little girl with Downs Syndrome and a couple of little girls who think that they need to pretend they are babies and suck their thumbs and talk like infants. Don't get me wrong, I really do honestly love these kids and they are so much fun, but how do I "teach" them. I've taught young women, the relief society women and have been in nursery a zillion years, and I know that it's the basic principles of the gospel that they need to hear when they're little, but I'd really like these kids to learn from us while they're with us. Half the time our class is cracking up at one of the kids who decides to do an impromptu dance, or Mike and I are stifling a laugh because they all seem to think the answer to every question is "Heavenly Father!!!" or "Jesus!!!". For example:

US: Hey guys, who is this? (we hold up a picture of Pres. Hinckley)

They all raise their hands eagerly. We call on one or two who always reply:

"HEAVENLY FATHER!" or "JESUS!" and if we say "close, but not quite...anybody else?" they yell "Jesus CHRIST!!!" as if that's what makes a huge difference.

Now, these kids are all from good strong families mostly, and we have the daughter of our Stake President in our ward, and a couple of them have parents in our Relief Society Pres and Elder's Quorum Pres, so I know they're being taught at home. It's just amazing to me what kids say sometimes. Kind of like how one time Tiffany told her kindergarten teacher that I lock her in her room and make her eat out of a shoe. Or how Mackenzie once told Miss Kris (her pre-school teacher) that I spank her until she cleans our whole house every day. This was at age 4 mind you. She vehemently denied this of course...but I digress. ( I do that a lot lately )

So back to my thoughts on the lesson. Mike's first teaching calling is this one. He studies the manual and takes notes, marks scriptures, the whole nine yards, and every week we end up teaching the lesson almost by the seat of our pants when the "outline" we've drawn up seems to bore them.

See, I'm very well used to teaching, and I expect this. I expect to wing it. I expect to change it up, to make them listen by making sure they stay involved, but Mike feels guilty because we're not covering every point in the manual. And here's my question for you. Do you all feel like you're doing the same thing? How do I explain to my husband that he's not doing a bad job, on the contrary, he's doing an awesome job. Is it wrong for us to teach this way? I feel bad that he feels bad about these kids not "learning"...or so he thinks. What are your thoughts on this?

8 comments:

Lyd said...

I'm sure that you guys are doing an awesome job. I swear that little kids act like they're not learning or listening to anything that you say, but when asked at a non important time, they come out with an amazing answer. I wonder how long it will be until I get that calling! hahaha I hope not for a while, because that will prolly mean that I am married! ha Mike, don't worry about it. Kids just need simple lessons and they are fine as I'm sure Alli has said! You guys are awesome.

Alli Fantastico said...

You're right Lyd. Let's just hope they don't tell their parents that we stuff them full of Smarties and cookies every week. We're like the Dog Whisperer...for 5 year olds.

Eliza said...

As much as you prepare and plan, I think the most important thing to be is flexible to the spirit and that sounds exactly like what you guys are doing so keep on keepin on mah frens! AND I have to say that I LOVE primary soooooooooo much!! I never want to leave it!

Little E said...

Alright Alli, don't pretend you never locked your kids in a closet and made em eat out of a shoe. When you baby sat me you made me wear girl underwear and eat toilet paper.

Lyd said...

hahaha That's the way it should be anyway!

Alli Fantastico said...

ERIC! You loved the underpants AND the toilet paper, don't lie to me. Plus, how do you think you learned discipline, the same discipline you use now daily to finish your flips etc? Me. That's right. It was tough love my friend, and look at you now...

Eliza said...

Forget about the underwear....what about the wedding dress where you married Taylor?

Alli Fantastico said...

I was thinking the same thing Liza.