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The Observer Debacle

I've been to several Seminary classes to observe, but Tuesday was the first time someone has come to watch me!  Gah!  

My friend, DeAnn, has been teaching Seminary for many years.  She called late Monday evening to ask if she could come over and watch our class.  It was fine with me, but my class does not operate like hers.  When Salt Lake imagines what Seminary looks like, DeAnn's class is what they think of.  She has music playing in the background as the kids come in, she closes the door to indicate tardies, she has a regimented routine that the kids follow to give devotionals and opening exercises -- she is a machine.  My class, on the other hand, is more like a Family Home Evening.  We visit for the first 10-15 minutes, kick off a very sad opening exercises that consists of announcements (and devotional if I'm doing those -- not doing it right now), song, and prayer.  After that, I take over and it's generally uphill.  I have not done a good job training the kids about formal opening exercises.  I don't feel terribly guilty about it either.  

Anyway, normally, things go very smoothly after I get going.  Not this day -- of course.  Students lollygagged and chatted and wouldn't get in their seats at tables.  Normally the delay is only about 2 minutes.  That day: like 4.  They didn't get out their materials, dillydallied.... gah.  One kid actually sat on the couch instead of coming to sit.  What?  That was the first time he ever did anything like that.  And he cut up basically the whole class, running his mouth and making smart comments.  He did that at the beginning of the year, but I thought I had worked that out of him.  He was fine today, so I don't know exactly what happened Tuesday.  Anyway -- the kids were a mess.  I couldn't get them to shut up.  There's always talking, but this time it was bad. Or at least it seemed bad. I think I may have to swap up seating zones again.  Too much happiness.  Haha.

Luckily my lesson was pretty good, and we were able to have some pretty good discussion.  My ending was solid, and so I felt a little bit redeemed despite a rocky start.

Wow.  We've had visitors before, but never did the kids go nutty like that.  And on a TUESDAY!  They are usually dead on Tuesdays. Must be spring fever.

It's always possible that I was more sensitive to their tomfoolery because of an observer that I admire, but geez.  Crazy.  Today my friend Susan (mom of a student) came in to class.  She had mentioned that she wanted to come, and I told her it was fine.  Great lesson.  Again with the chatting, but not so severe as the day before.  I am glad that the kids are developing friendships.  I just wish they'd hush when others are speaking.

So anyway today I'm kicking back and recovering from Tuesday.  🙂  There's a funeral for a young man killed in an automobile accident that several of my students know from before the ward split.  I am leaving in a little bit to go.  The poor boy wasn't wearing a seatbelt and died when his car ran off the road just about a mile and a half from home.  So terrible.  I met him a few times and liked him.  A young man in the other class was in a car wreck on the way to Seminary a few weeks back.  I worry about these kids driving in the dark on these HORRIBLE Virginia roads.  Whenever there's an accident I try to take a little time to talk to the kids about safe driving.  I so don't want something to happen to any of them.

Post Date: May 1, 2013
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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