Sunday, July 17, 2011


Here's the truth: I'm not loving teaching primary. I don't like that both Hayley and I are teachers, but we're not in the same class. we're not even in the same primary group--she's in senior primary, I'm in junior. I don't like that I came in in the middle of the year, so I didn't get to be the one who lays down ground rules. I don't like that my teacher companion guy is old enough to be my dad, we don't relate to one another, he's gone all the time, is sometimes mean to the loud kid in our class, but doesn't discipline at all. I'm annoyed with the one kid that won't shut up the whole time and the girl that can't seem to keep her dress down. I'm sick of rushing through lessons that no one listens to, just to get to the coloring so they'll focus on that one thing.

I whined about all this to Hayley today, and she gave me some great advice on how to teach kids. She was sympathetic to my complaints, and understood that I want to talk to the primary presidency and have us be put together, but I think we'll hold off on it. It may not be easier to try to teach class with Mikey (we both just take him to sharing time since we're there at different hours), and if this is how we were called, maybe I need to figure out what I need to learn from this calling, and what I need to teach these kids. She pointed out that a coloring page may be age appropriate for them, but there are ways to get them to pay attention. It was a very helpful conversation, and while I still wasn't super excited about church today, I felt armed with some new tools to teach.

In class today, I did some massive positive reinforcement and it was awesome. They payed attention, they were reverent, and while I still somewhat rushed through the lesson, we got through the whole thing, and only spent ten minutes on the coloring (as apposed to the 20-30 minutes that sometimes happens). Sure, the one super talker kid wasn't there, but if the rest of them are that good next week, he'll start falling into line. I'm hopeful and actually enjoyed church today.

And I wanted to share this with you. While looking online for a coloring page, I found this gem. As you can obviously see, Jesus is the mysterious hooded one, God is the shirtless, bald guy with great abs, and the Holy Ghost is the fiery one like God, but with blank, hollow eyes. Just as I imagine the Trinity to look. Surrounded by stars and planets, like superheros. ...but to avoid parents getting all up in my grill about false doctrine and whatnot, I decided to go with something else. Hope you got a kick out of it like I did.

So here's hoping things continue to go well!


Hayley said...

garrett, i know it'll get better. teaching kids is just harder in some ways than teaching big kids or adults. you're such a good teacher, you just need to figure out how to get to them.

i'll print that coloring page off for you, if you'd like ;)

Deb and AJ said...

Garrett, what age are you teaching? I'm teaching the 5-6 yr. olds. I actually prefer to teach by myself, they just put a 20 something with me. That is really too bad that you can't be together. Down the road I would probably say something. Good luck! I have 5 boys and 2 girls. In my class about the last 15 min. we do a coloring page, but I've made bingo sheets, and puzzles, matching game, all church related. You can check out for help. Deb

Katey said...

I'm glad you have Hayley to help you out! I'm sure it's a hard job to do but you will be blessed (yes I did say that just now)! Good luck :)

Christy said...

I hated Primary for about the first 6 months I was in there. After awhile I learned to like it. And then I got released. Go figure. A few things that helped me were to have them change positions every 5-10 minutes. Sometimes we sat on the floor. Sometimes we pretended we were princes and princesses and our chairs were thrones. One time we made a tent and sat in that. Also another thing was giving each kid a "turn" to do something. They were surprisingly good waiting for their turn. Anyway, good luck. I put in some good use of my punching bag after church quite often during that time.

Kristen Brady said...

Primary is such a place of highs and lows when it comes to teaching. Hang in there and stay strong on the things that are important to you, and don't be afraid to let the less important things go! I bet the kids love you!