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First Day of Seminary

Well, it's over. All the preparing and fretting and lack of sleep culminated in a slightly rocky first day of Seminary. I'm so relieved to be finally teaching!

Several of the kids arrived right at 6:00 am, which astonished me. We start at 6:10, and I don't know if people weren't sure how long it would take to get to the house or what. Maybe I'm the only person that plans to arrive 1 minute before anything starts. Anyway, I was still setting up a few things when we started. My tables still aren't in from wherever the church orders tables, so we sat on the couches and I brought in a couple of extra chairs. Our class president had a minor catastrophe when she realized she had left her homework at home and couldn't get in touch with her mom. So, the vice president ended up kicking off class.

Magic Squares went quite a lot longer than I intended for it to, so my lesson time was cut down considerably. We didn't get to play Member/Nonmember like I planned, but I think we covered the high points of the lesson.

Most of the rockiness was my fault -- I should have been more clear about some of my expectations for the students. For example, I should have explained what was in their binders. There was some confusion about looking for writing utensils when I asked them to do a writing exercise.

Can I just say -- having the kids read the material ahead of time worked beautifully. The kids all did the reading and were able to share their insights articulately. I asked them all to write down 2 things they didn't know before the reading and had the secretary time it (2 minutes). They scrambled to write! You could have heard a pin drop, if the flooring wasn't carpet and all 🙂 . They all shared different things. Some of them were very insightful. The kids pay a million times more attention when they are talking than when I am talking, and I think they probably absorb more, too. I will keep finding ways for them to shine each class.

So, timed activities -- keeping it.

Standing to sing -- keeping it.

Magic squares -- keeping it, but I may take a turn teaching it one day per week to up the professionalism level for my presidency.

Better explanations of classroom materials -- next year. Perhaps I was a little anxious to get into the material. I think next year I will do scripture study materials for the first lesson instead of the second. I definitely could have done a better job preparing the class president and vice president for conducting.

Overall, I think it was a good start to the year. Hopefully tomorrow goes as well.

Post Date: September 12, 2011
Author: Jenny Smith


Jenny Smith
Jenny Smith is a designer who started blogging in 2004 to share lesson and activity ideas with members of her home branch Mississippi. Her collection has grown, and she now single-handedly manages the world's largest collection of free lesson help for LDS teachers with faceted search. Her library includes teaching techniques, object lessons, mini lessons, handouts, visual aids, and doctrinal mastery games categorized by scripture reference and gospel topic. Jenny loves tomatoes, Star Trek, and her family -- not necessarily in that order.
Jenny Smith is a designer, blogger, and tomato enthusiast who lives in Virginia on a 350+ acre farm with her husband and one very grouchy cat.
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