Saturday, March 23, 2013

Ms. Julia the Sunday School Teacher

When the bishop of our ward asked me to come see him before church a couple of weeks ago, I knew he was going to assign me a calling. I had the following thoughts:
  • What if I get called into the youth program? Ugh, I hate teenagers. Unless they are hanging out of their car window yelling "YOU'RE HOT" while I'm on my walk, then I'm okay with them I guess.
  • What if I get called to the Compassionate Service Committee? I will seriously just say no because everyone knows that serving other people SUCKS.
  • What if I get called to play the organ? I can't even play the organ!!!!!!!!!!!
Luckily, it wasn't any of those assignments. I was asked to teach the ten-year-olds in Primary, which gave me mixed feelings because I like kids and I don't like kids. 
I don't like kids because I can't keep up with them, which makes me feel one hundred years old. I also don't like kids because they're skinnier than me, and as a white american woman in the 21st century, I have been taught to loathe anyone who falls into that category.

I like kids because they're quirky and they lack tact, which really sets up some great situations. For example, at Sloan's school, all of the first-year students have to do community service by going around to elementary schools to talk to the kids about taking care of their teeth. They present in pairs while wearing their bright red UNLV DENTAL scrubs and using puppets and giant toothbrushes to really get the crowd amped about oral hygiene. This one partnership consisted of a guy and a girl who both happened to be asian, and before they introduced themselves to the class, one of the presenters asked, "Hi kids! Do you know where we're from?" There was a bit of silence before some kid in the back yelled, "CHINA?"

That's why I like kids.

And my primary class has not failed me in that department. 

Julia: Can anyone tell me one important thing John the Baptist did?
Class: *silence*
Julia: Remember, his name is John the Baptist.
Student: He got beheaded!!
Julia: Um, well, yes that's true. But let's talk abou-
Student #2: What's 'beheaded' mean?
Julia: Well, it uh...
Student #3: It means they chopped his head off!
Entire Class: EW!
Julia: *loudly* He is also the man who baptized Jesus.
Student #4: How did he do that with his head chopped off?!

Even though I've only been doing this a couple of weeks, I've already learned a couple of other things. I've learned never to bring a big bag of cookies to class unless I'm prepared to physically fight the kids off until they are all gone. I've learned that kids will often frantically raise their hands to answer a question, almost falling out of their seats for me to call on them, and when I do they say something like, "WELL UM...HAHA WHAT WAS THE QUESTION AGAIN?"

The kids in my class are really great, and I consider them my little buddies. From the moment I walked into that classroom, they made me feel like the greatest, most interesting person in the world (which is something that children have always been really good at). They're cheerful, enthusiastic, and they don't mind being corrected, all things that get quashed by the time adulthood rolls around. Listening to the weird things they say every Sunday is the highlight of my week, because it's like my own little episode of "Kids Say the Darndest Things." I just love them, and I'm sure this won't be my last post about my favorite little Sunday school class.


  1. Reminds me of when you were 4-5. I was at my wits end with you, Laura and Richard and lost my temper with ya'll. You put your hands on your hips and boldly proclaimed, "Well, if you're gonna act like THAT then you can't be the mother!"--love, mom

  2. And then there was Sam. He was about 5 and I was trying to tell him a story about his Dad, Richard, as a baby. The story involved Richard being out of a car seat. I began by explaining that when his dad was little, children didn't have to ride in car seats. Sam interrupted me with a bit of disgust and said, "I KNOW, Zannah! You rode horses!" Can't wait for Ward's insights! Love, mom