Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Mixed blessings

I'd been watching the upcoming new year and subsequent Primary changeover with some trepidation. We teach the 6- and 7-year olds, which in 2008 meant that we had three boys in our class. Even though we had some adventures with those three (one in particular, who is the bishop's son and at one point threatened to have us "fired") by the end of the year everything was going great. And every Sunday during the opening exercises and Sharing Time we would watch the class in front of us, the 5- and 6-year-olds, and I would try not to think about how we would be inheriting that class. It's not that the kids are really bad or anything (with one major exception), but the fact that there were ten of them was not comforting at all. That's a five-to-one ratio; I didn't like the odds.

So you can imagine my relief when the Primary president (who is laboring under the false impression that I'm pregnant--I'm not, folks, but it is kind of funny*) informed us that they would be splitting our new class into two smaller sections, probably in the interest of giving the teachers better odds. And I was even more excited when I found out that the above-mentioned major exception was not in our section.

But then came the bad news. This year there are enough incoming Sunbeams to fill up four, count 'em, FOUR classes. Which means that the Primary room is no longer big enough to hold the entire Primary. This means that for the rest of the year opening exercises are being held in the chapel, and Junior Primary moves to the Primary room when Senior Primary is dismissed into individual classes. Generally, the 6- and 7-year-olds are the oldest class in Junior Primary. But with the sudden influx of Sunbeams, the Primary room can't even hold all of Junior Primary. So our class got moved into Senior Primary. Which could be a good thing: one of the reasons we had problems with the bishop's son is that he thought he was too old to be in Junior Primary with the babies (the age difference between 3-year-old Sunbeams and 7-year-old bishops' sons is much vaster than it seems on paper), so moving the 7-year-olds up a notch would probably keep them from revolting too much. However, in Senior Primary they don't sing wiggle songs. This may be helpful for the dignity of 7-year-olds, but certain 20-somethings need to get up and move around from time to time. I don't know if I can sit still for such an extended period of time. It's going to be a long, long year.

Please join with me now, in remembrance of our dear, departed wiggle song time:

I'm all made of hinges 'cause everything bends...

*It's also not completely irrational, though. The policy in this ward seems to be that Primary is where they send the childless couples in order to convince them to have children. You'd think this wouldn't necessarily be the best policy, as after watching the now-more-than-70-Primary-age-children in operation would probably scare anyone out of having kids, but it actually does work. Because the only ways I've ever seen any couple released from teaching Primary was for them to either 1) move out of the ward or 2) have a baby. And after enough weeks of being confined with the 70+ small crazy kids, a lot of people seem willing to take whatever measures necessary to escape. We have currently been teaching Primary for about 17 months, so from a leadership perspective we're probably ready to jump ship as soon as possible.


Erin Taylor said...

When we were first married, we were immediately put into the nursery. Talk about a natural deterant! However, despite it all we did bare fruit. Now, in our current ward, it doesn't matter if you are going to have a baby or not, you are NEVER released from any calling... just given more! (we don't have a very active ward, and the few active members must shoulder the burden for all the slackers.)

Hint- make the kids do jumping jacks and push ups in class. It's awesome!!!!

Carrie said...

Since last October I was teaching my class (5 and 6 year olds) and the class younger, but my max ever was 8 and that was 2 classes!! I can't fathom that many Sunbeams! Insanity! I bet they're cute though. P.S. "Once there was a snow man small... small... small..." :(

erachamay said...

I had one overactive child in the oldest jr. primary class inform me that the reason he was loud and wouldn't be quiet was because (and I am seriously not making this up--do you think I could come up with stuff like this?) "I'm closer to being a teenager." Um, don't teach your kids that! I am wishing many wiggle songs your way!

Lady Type said...

Do I know the "major exception?" Girl or boy?

And I like your blog wallpaper, by the way.