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Monday, January 06, 2014

A new year, a new class.

With the new year, I wasn't released from my calling as a teacher in Primary, but I was given a new class. And not just the new crop of Sunbeams, either. The presidency makes a point to switch around the teachers each new year so no one gets completely burned out with a certain age group.


I was dreading teaching the new Sunbeams. In case you don't know, the Sunbeams are aged 3-4 and they come from Nursery, which is aged 18 months-3 years. And in case you don't know about Nursery, it's basically the most fun a kid can have in Mormon church. Our particular Nursery has amazing teachers, a slide, a parachute, cars to ride in, millions of toys, and SNACK TIME. Aspen has loved Nursery in this ward. One of her teachers even plays the ukulele and sings with the kids. Sign me up, right?

You can probably imagine the distress some of the kids face when they have to move up to the Sunbeam class. There are no toys. There is no run around time. And there definitely isn't a 20 minute snack break.

Not only was I facing the very real fear that I'd have to help these kids transition from Nursery to Sunbeams, but I was facing the very real fear that I'd have to help MY OWN KID transition from Nursery to Sunbeams. I had faith that Aspen could actually do well in a few weeks' time, but I didn't think she'd do as well if she had to do it under my authority.

I was so relieved when the week before the big switch I was assigned to the 8-year-old class. BULLET DODGED, PEOPLE. Although, I no longer have a team-teacher so I will be teaching every week instead of switching off with a partner. However, I feel that's a small price to pay in order to avoid teaching Aspen's class.

When the Sunbeams were brought back into the large gathering room for the final 15 minutes of primary this week, it was like watching someone try to herd cats. There were kids whining for their moms, kids whining to sit with older siblings, and kids wandering aimlessly without any intent to sit down.

And then there was my kid.

She was being held by a member of the presidency, who was trying in vain to reason with her. Since my class is practically grown up in comparison, I went over to Aspen to see what was going on. Then she went into two different time outs for hitting, pinching and screaming. She kept wailing that she wanted to go back to Nursery, and I didn't blame her. But with that not being an option, I decided to bribe her with the sandwich in my bag (church now runs right through lunch time). Aspen sat on the front row with the other Sunbeams for a few minutes and then joined my class so she could wolf down some food.

I warned Kev that Aspen didn't transition well from her class time back into the primary room, so I asked him to make a loop past us next week to check on Aspen. If she's going to have freak outs for a few weeks, I can't keep leaving my class to let her beat me up and get stuck in time out in the hallway.

Overall, it went better than I expected. And I'm just so grateful I don't have to teach Sunbeams any more. What with my job working in daycare, it was just getting to be way too much time spent with little kids. It's not that the kids were naughty; it's just an exhausting age group for me.

And hopefully next week Aspen can get through all of primary without hitting anyone (at least it was me and not another teacher).

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  1. Here we go! It's working! I can comment! Rama-lama-ding-dong! Transitioning to Sunbeams is hard! I think the kids did great. By the end there, Grace was a wanderer until Ashley sat her on her lap. I thought it was pretty funny...Myley was sitting on my lap and I looked over and Grace was on Ashley's lap.

  2. Kid swap! It really is funny to see those poor, shell-shocked new sunbeams. I'm glad to be seeing them from across the room, though. PHEW.

  3. It really is a big transition I didn't really realize it until reading your post. Im sure next week will be better. And I can't imagine teaching sunbeams. Heck I think our eight year old Boy Scouts are enough to drive anyone batty.

  4. Teaching on your own can be great because you don't have another grown up in the room making you feel self conscious about being watched while teaching children.
    I'm glad to hear you were impressed by my uke skills. Honestly I feel a little silly every week bring it. I think my biggest struggle these last 4 years in primary is just acceptance of feeling like an idiot all the time.
    Parachute is genius though, why didn't we get one back in Jan?
    Also snack time is brutal on fast Sunday. Sometimes, I just want to eat the crackers so bad...

    Enjoy the 8yo group. (And if Sam is naughty please tell me)

    1. He's doing great! I just learned last week I have to sit between him and another boy to prevent them from smacking each other's hands during sharing time. HA!

    2. Yeah, that's my fault. I taught him that game. Turns out I teach many habits that teachers don't love. Oops.


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