Monday, January 4, 2010

My newfound ADD (attention deficit disorder)

For the past little while I have been the 2nd counselor in the Primary Presidency in our Ward. Roughly translated for those "non-LDS" readers: I was incharge of the younger children's group (age 18 mo. to 12 yrs.) at church for our neighborhood. Recently I was released. Now I teach the 14 year old Sunday School class. What a difference!

The way primary is set up, there is the nursery. That is the class/baby-sitting {yes, I said baby sitting, cause basically that is what they are doing} that is done for the kids that are 18 mo. up to 3 yr. old. Then, the other kids are broken up into two groups Junior and Senior Primary. The younger kids are junior and the older are senior. Within those groups, each kid is a part of a class, that is based on their age. During the 2nd and 3rd hours of church, the kids take turns going to Sharing time and then to class or vice versa. Following me?

Sharing time is setup where there is some singing time and then a lesson. Once a month, I was in charge of doing the lesson, and the other three weeks, I would help manage the other things. So, I was always going. Either helping out with kids needing to go to the bathroom, or making sure each of the classes had teachers, sometimes I was in the nursery helping out, sometimes I played the piano for the singing time... You get the picture. Rarely was I ever just sitting there.

So, now, during the 2nd hour, I teach the 14 year olds, which I LOVE. So I am constantly talking, moving, and presenting my lesson. Then during the 3rd hour, I am expected to go to Relief Society (the class for grown up women). And don't get me wrong, the lessons are usually really great as was this Sunday's (at least the parts I heard). I just could not sit still. After 5 years of being in Primary, I found that I have ADD. To have to sit there quietly for an hour was complete torture. And yes, I probably could have made comments to keep me somewhat occupied, but honestly I would have had to make a comment every three minutes to keep me engaged in the lesson. And I think the other ladies would have gotten sick of me (not to mention, I don't really have that good of things to say). AND, that means I would have had to have been paying attention in the first place to know what questions were being asked. I just about had to get up and leave "pretending" to go to the bathroom with 15 minutes remaining because I couldn't stand it anymore. However, at that point, she (the teacher) pulled out a children's book to read as a part of the lesson. That was actually pretty great, she would read a page and then show us the picture. Just enough to keep me stimulated to listening.

That got me thinking, Relief Society should be more like Primary. Why couldn't we break into a rousing rendition of "Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes" when the teacher sees that she's losing her class from boredom? Or pull out some cardstock fishes with little magnets on them that we get to then use a pole with a magnet hanging on it to "fish" for the questions that she is going to pose for the class? Or why don't they use for visual aids so that we have something to look at when they are talking? And by visual aids, I don't mean word strips, cause Relief Society is already very good at that, I mean pictures, something that is a little more exciting to look at. Or my all-time favorite, learn about the good things to do on Sunday by playing Family Feud.

My one saving grace, besides the children's story, this Sunday was that the lesson ended 5 minutes early. I think that I am going to have to follow Sher's example and make a reverence chair for myself. Whenever her little boy acted up on Sunday during Primary, she would have him sit in a "reverence" chair for so many minutes (kind of like time out) and fold his arms and sit quietly. {Which is a GREAT idea - for serious - and it worked for him, he was pretty good at sitting still in Primary.} That way, I can train myself once again to sit quietly during church, or use my parents old form of "punishment" for not sitting quietly in church and tell myself I don't get any dessert on Sunday after dinner. Wouldn't that be a bummer? OR they could just take my suggestions and liven Relief Society up, I'm just sayin'.


Valerie said...

I just found your blog and had to laugh at this. I just went from teaching the youth Sunday school class to being in primary. There are fun things about both age groups for sure!

Be careful how loudly you talk about your fun ideas or you might get changed to RS teacher. :)

Lhone said...

Head shoulders knees and toes---haha. Love it. I just got released from YW, and before I did that I taught SS for the 14 year olds. Those two callings were my absolute favorite callings. I miss them. I hope they don't call me to RS.

Dean and Cindy Hatch said...

Lisa, bite your tongue. Mom