Christian and I teach primary at church. (Primary = classes for the little kids.) Ok, technically Christian teaches. I just help with crowd control.
You might wonder why you would need crowd control for a handful of 7-year-olds. Well let me tell you--before we started teaching this class, they had the class split because teachers couldn't handle them all together. No joke--there were only 7 or 8 of them. Sure, some of the kids were angels. But others had trouble sitting through church, to say the least. Clothes came off, chairs magically moved around the room, Star Wars was mentioned an average of 6 times each class. And that was after our weekly "how to be reverent" review. Poor Christian did his best teaching lessons, but the lessons usually consisted of 5 minutes of actual content intermingled with 30 minutes of distractions.
Now let's move into 2009. New year, new set of 7-year-olds. Class went about like this:
1. Lesson: Finished in about 10 minutes, leaving Christian with about 40 minutes to waste. Nice.
2. Reviewing rules--Take 1: You have to sit in your chair with either your legs pointed toward the floor or indian style (which is not called indian style anymore--crisscross applesauce). One sweet little girl looked at us in complete shock that those were the only two options and said, "Um, can I sit on my legs like this?" and proceeded to sit with her feet modestly tucked under her. It took us a second to realize that we obviously didn't need rules on how to sit with our new group.
3. Reviewing rules--Take 2: You only get snacks if you behave in class. And we're not joking. If we have to tell you over and over that you're not going to get a snack, you will not get a snack. We don't believe in empty threats. Just ask last year's kids. It's a cold, cold world. Again--blank stares. I think they were having trouble imagining behavior so horrendous that it would warrant snack withholding. Check that off the list of rules we will be taking off our radar.
4. Reviewing rules--Take 3: We used to review the steps of praying every Sunday before almost every prayer. "Everyone fold your arms. Everyone bow your head. Everyone close your eyes. Don't talk. So-and-so, stop talking. No, really, fold your arms. Stop kicking so-and-so. No, we're not talking about Darth Vader. Close your eyes. Ok, you can go ahead and say the prayer." But with this class? "Who wants to pray? Ok, go ahead." And that's that.
Don't get me wrong. I saw our old kids walking with their new class and I was proud of them and missed them. They have come a long way. But this year is going to be awesome.
3 years ago