Sunday, August 10, 2008


Nearly every member who attends my church has a job that we do for the church--a "calling." Here are some of the callings I have had before. I taught the adult Sunday school. I taught the men's priesthood meeting. I taught the "how to teach" course. I was the tech support person for the multi-congregation area. I kept up with the finances. I kept up with the membership records. I have led the younger men (roughly age 19-40). It goes on and on.

Currently Julia and I share the calling to substitute when a teacher of our children's program cannot make it. So far we have substituted about every other week for the eleven year olds--the oldest group of children. From ages 12-18 they are "young men" and "young women," not "children."

I hate teaching other people's kids. I have no trouble teaching my own kids because I have an ongoing rapport with my sons, as well as a range of potential punishments and rewards.* Being the oldest "children," some do not want to be there. They want to be young women and young men.

We have all types in class. We have the honest nitpicker. We have the show-out nonparticipant who wants to act stupid (he's in the gifted program at school) rather than read a verse or say a prayer. We have the girl who delights in doing nothing unless she does it backward. We have the "I don't wanna," girl. We have my son, the eager participant who wants to crack jokes and take over the class with stuff that has nothing to do with the lesson.

We have our hands full.

We are trying to figure out what to do.

Next week we will try bribes.

*Yes, punishments are an option. However, I find that if punishments are applied swiftly and consistently, without debate, they are almost never necessary. Mostly we just enjoy life together.

No comments: