Sunday, August 15, 2010

Sunday thoughts

Today was a bit of a difficult day at church.

I had been away from my Primary class for 3 weeks, and I was psyching myself up to go back with a good attitude. Today they exhibited the worst behavior I've seen in any class, ever. I'm ready to throw up my hands in defeat.

I have prayed. I've tried to love them into good behavior. I've tried bribery. I've tried praise. I've tried to appeal to their vanity by telling them that they're the oldest kids in junior primary and they need to set the standard for the younger ones.

Nothing I've tried has worked.

I don't want to go back next week! Should I call their parents and have them come sit with them? What? Seriously. Hit me with your best ideas, I'm desperate here.

The only thing I really got out of church today was the opening hymn, so in an effort to not be totally negative in my Sunday thoughts, I'll share it with you:

Each life that touches ours for good
Reflects thine own great mercy, Lord;
Thou sendest blessings from above
Through words and deeds of those who love.

What greater gift dost thou bestow,
What greater goodness can we know
Than Christlike friends, whose gentle ways
Strengthen our faith, enrich our days.

Truly a gift I receive with gratitude.


Jill said...

Oh no, I'm sorry to hear that it was such a rough week with your class. I would definitely advise calling one of their parents to sit in with you to help keep that kid under control and to help with the rest of them. Sometimes just having one adult in there isn't enough.

You could also try sending them a note. That way their parents would see it and would (hopefully) talk to them about how they're doing in class.

Anne said...

Oh how I can relate. I agree with Jill, have someone come in and sit with your class. I just have one kid but he is more than a handful. He's virtually impossible to control. I have my husband come in and sit next to him. Sometimes just having him sit nicely and quietly helps the boy cooperate a bit better. More often than not though I just give up and we color.

Price Cream Parlor said...

What age are you teaching in Primary?

I am so sorry! Sometimes church is so hard - and made extra hard because of our callings that we hold. I would agree with you and ask one parent to sit with the class with you. Then, the next week have another parent. I know if I was the parent sitting in on the class I would be having a serious discussion with my little before and after church. If you rotate each parent in you might find help in that regard?
You might even mention to the Primary Presidency that you need some extra help or suggestions.

Not fun to come home to this!

What a beautiful hymn indeed!

jenn said...

YES- call a parent. Even call every parent to take a turn. There are definitely classes that require more than one teacher even when they are good teachers. If another adult helps the situation- then you can absolutely tell the presidency to call a partner for you. Good Luck.

Marie said...

You might request a co-teacher, if you don't have a window in your classroom door you should have one anyway.

I had a student a couple of years ago who was such a handful! He was the most challenging I have ever had, I tried everything I could, determined not to call his parents in and finally one day I had had it! I took him by the hand in the middle of class and marched him straight to his father...after that he was my best buddy, giving me hugs, snuggling up to me in sharing time, and telling the other kids to behave - and then I got called to Young Women!

Barb said...

Oh dear, I grew up as a member of a class like that. It got worse when we reached Sunday School age. We went through 13 teachers in 12 months the year we were 13.
I definitely think do something, anything.

Tasha said...

You've obviously been very prayerful about this class. You are a wonderful teacher and example. I would invite a couple parents to come to class, then next week a couple more, etc. Having spent 7 of the last 10 years in primary (and I just got called back) that's what I would do. Unless you think the parent would loudly correct their child and cause more of a ruckus. Also, you can always ask a member of the presidency to sit in and be on dury for a couple of kids. I'm sorry its been so hard.

Neighbor Jane Payne said...

Ohhhh man. NOthing worse than church feeling like it lasts five hours with a steam roller in it.

I think getting a parent to help would be a good idea, too. I would also consider looking for a few more physical learning activities that would allow them to move in a productive manner. Good luck!

Liz said...

I agree with everything everyone else has already mentioned. One thing that worked really well for me when I had a class of 9 roudy and rambunctious kids, was to make sure they had scriptures, and we all opened them to the scriptures we were reading and talking about. This was the only time when I had their undivided attention and they were reverent. I'm sure it didn't work every time, but it certainly made a difference. Good luck!

patsy said...

this is rough.

I once taught a bunch of 16 year olds that had me in tears on a regular basis...

anyhow- You may have tried this- explain that things haven't gone well duh they know that, but still) and that you want to start over with a set of rules. Have them choose the rules then have a sticker or some kind of chart for accountability. Even a jar with marbles would work. Each child could get a sticker etc. if they behave working towards some huge goal like a pizza or banana split party.?? just an idea? You could even start with everyone getting a sticker, but if it goes bad take their off without saying a word.
if/when the earn the party you could have them each bring an ingredient to cut down costs.

I would still have one or all of the parents there-

good luck

Christine said...

I'd be happy to come in and help, since I don't have Sunday obligations. I feel your pain. That's pretty much how every family home evening goes and they're my very own kids. :)

Don't hesitate to ask!

Rebekah said...

Hee, hee. Sorry, but I have to laugh because I know exactly where you're coming from. I've been in nursery for two years now, and last week was the worst week we've ever had. Out of about seven children, five had major breakdowns as we walked from our classroom to singing time. Some had shoes on, some didn't, some had just one on. I was dragging two children while trying to catch up with another who had bolted ahead.

They destroyed the nursery room, just completely destroyed it.

They were loud, loud, loud.

They wanted to sing and dance and twirl and run in our tiny, tiny room.

Then, at the end, what children I had laugh literally started running in place and laughing like hyenas. I wanted to cry from exhaustion. They are SUCH nutcases!

What has helped me in primary is to realize that the main goal is to give the children a good experience in their early years of church attendance. I was so concerned with the lesson for the longest time, but then I reread the beginning of the nursery manual, and it's clear that the presidency just wants you to create a loving environment for the children so they are happy to be at church because they know it's a place they will be loved and can feel comforted.

I know the standards are a little higher for actual primary children, but I still think it applies.

I would have a parent come in. I know you have a coteacher now, so that has to help. I think that age is just hard. The most difficult children in our junior primary right now are the oldest kids. My nursery kids behave better *most* Sundays.

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