This sabbath day started out so wonderfully with Michael and Julia's good news. And then I went to Primary. We have a new Primary President and two weeks ago she wanted to know what I thought, after listening she asked me to teach in Sharing Time. Jeffrey and I have been monitoring the doors because running in and out of classrooms/Primary to mommy is driving me nuts. That problem is slowly working towards reverence.
My classroom lesson was on being a missionary today. I took the topic then found President Monson's address on "Be an Example and a Light" from conference. I made little booklets that started out with title and then the 5 points and asked the children to draw in something in each section that they heard from the video - Wow - it took half an hour and they were fully engaged. Then I used a family home evening site that had activity story cut-outs of Ammon and King Lamoni's sheep. That was a success too!
Sharing time came next and we put one table by one door and Jeffrey stood by the other. The Primary president took down the names of all the children on slips of paper for me and gave it to me when the children came in. We went through the song, prayer, articles of faith recitation, scripture and then she told me it was already 11:30 and to take whatever time I needed. I told her I would cut it short.
Taking a 20 peso note I asked the kids what you could buy with it. The older children all had great ideas. I likened the bill to the value of our soul that was put in the body that God gave us. I stomped on it and asked what it's value was, crumpled it up, pretended to spit on it and unfolded it and asked what the value was. I asked if anyone wanted it. I told them that I was going to give it to one lucky person if they could be reverent for 5 more minutes as I value reverence and time not being wasted. The minute someone spoke out of turn or got out of their chair I had the president take the name out of the pile. Then I reminded them of the scripture and asked them to fill in the blanks: My _______ is a _________. (My body is a temple) Which they did. I told them that they could devalue their body and started ripping up a copy of a peso note. The boys in the back almost rose out of their chairs and had a heart attack. That's when I said that lots of bad things can happen to us, but only we can devalue ourselves from what God gave us. Then I threw a kerchief with batting tied inside and asked them to tell me what they could do to add or keep value to their bodies. Hilarious responses, though quite a few told me they could be baptized. I worked with all the answers, then gave my testimony.
I count today as a success. One boy cracked Jeffrey and I up when the Primary president asked the children if they had learned anything and he answered, "Nothing." Since he had been walking around, poking his brother, and kicking chairs we weren't surprised but gave him credit for honesty.
When I got home I found an email from the Primary president about a trip we took together: "You've no idea how much fun I had and I saw your great example and felt your strong faith in serving the Lord. That is so inspiring and what someone like me who is so young in gospel knowledge needed to see."
That's when I realized how extremely blessed I have been all my life to have examples of how to run a successful primary and classroom. The first pioneer families here were converted in the late 60's early 70's and since then many thousands more. To expect everyone to know how to run a good primary would be almost impossible.
I also learned that the manual is created for a different type of learner and that manipulatives, crayons, and anything with the right brain is going to work more successfully than the prescribed text. Also God answers prayers!!!!