At the beginning of the year I was asked to be a primary teacher. I wasn't excited about it but I accepted the call. They wanted me to teach a class of four and five year olds. I went the first week and it was awful. I hated it. I am not one that does well with little kids that aren't mine. I don't find them that cute or charming, especially when they sneeze on me or pick their nose all through class. They couldn't answer the most basic questions and their attention span was that of a gnat.
I went home and cried and then I called my friend in the primary presidency and said,
"THIS ISN'T GOING TO WORK!"
She called me back and said that there was an older class in need of a teacher and asked if I thought that would be better. I quickly said yes. Right away I knew I'd really like these kids. They were 11 years old turning 12. I knew who they all were and I knew their families. They were fun, intelligent and spunky. One of the kids was Jenna, Emma's BFF.
It was so much better teaching the older kids but there were still bumps in the road. I was told by the primary president that this is a calling where you need to be able to fill your own spiritual cup and in the beginning I wasn't able to do that. It was a challenge but as time went on things got better. The kids were challenging at times but we grew to understand each other. I tried my best to make things fun and I almost always had a treat for them at the end of class. They knew my expectations and only rarely did they cross the line.
I had promised them if they were good in class I would throw them a party before the end of the year. I tried to have the party over the summer but each time I would pick a date I would find out someone had a conflict. School started, sports started, it was getting harder and harder to have a party. I owed it to these kids but I still had some time right? Wrong. I found out in October that I was being released. I was called to be the secretary in the Relief Society.
I had mixed emotions about the new calling. I am not organized. I have never been the secretary of anything and my biggest concern of all, what was going to happen to my kids? I had grown to really love and care about these seven little people. You know what? They loved me too. I could see it, feel it and I heard it from their parents. Immediately I asked if I could still teach them until the end of the year and do the new calling as well. I was told I could if I wanted but that I should think about it and that I would teach them one more time for sure and they would sustain me the following week.
That day I went to Relief Society (My kids had almost all turned 12 by this time so I no longer went to Sharing Time with them) and at the end of the meeting I had the sweetest confirmation that I needed to give my 100% to my new calling and that I needed to let these sweet kids go.
I went to church the next week and that is when they released me and then sustained me to my new calling. You should have seen the look on these kids faces when they heard I was no longer going to be their teacher. It. Broke. My. Heart.
After sacrament meeting I went to class and confirmed that I was no longer their teacher. I told them how much they meant to me. I told them I was always going to love them and that I would always be their friend. I cried. I cried a lot that day. At that point I still didn't know who their teacher was going to be. They were in limbo. All day I wondered who would teach them? Would they love them like I do? I worried about it a lot.
That afternoon after church I was still upset and still crying. I got a call from my friend and neighbor Diane. Diane is also Jenna's mom. She is one of the most wonderful women I have ever known. She was recently released as the stake young women president and had been calling-less for a few weeks. She was calling to ask me for the lesson manual since she had just been called to teach my old class.
Immediately I felt peace. I knew they would be taught well. I knew they would be loved. I knew they would still get to have fun. I also knew that if I had been selfish and kept them as my class they, and the kids coming up next year, may have missed out on having Diane as a teacher. She would have been snatched up for something else and the kids wouldn't have had the benefit of learning from her. That would have been a real shame.
I asked Diane if she would help me with the party I owed these kids and she quickly and happily agreed. On November 4th we took them to Trafalga after eating a ton of cheap crappy pizza at my house. My only rule was they all had to play at least one round of laser tag with everyone in the group. They happily obliged and behaved wonderfully for the most part. They climbed the rock wall, went on the Frog Hopper ride, ate junk food and played video games. I think they all had a good time. Everyone came except one boy. I was so sad he didn't make it but he was off having fun at a birthday party or something so I understood.
Derek and Joey on the rock wall
Braxton, Emma (not in my calss but came along anyway) Nicole, Jenna and Christopher waiting for their turn on the wall.
Look at Derek!
Come on Christopher. Use those muscles.
The Frog Hopper got a good workout from us that night.
The boys were screaming so loud that the girls waiting for the wall couldn't help but laugh at them.
Sorry for the blurry pictures but this things drops pretty quickly.
Jenna finally made it on the wall.
Laser Tag Time!!!
Three of my most favorite girls on the whole planet.
Here's the whole motley crew. Once again, THEY ARE AWESOME!
I already miss working with them but if things work out the way I think they might I may get to be part of their Sundays again in 2012. That's all I can say about that. Crossing fingers...