23 October 2006

Jesus Wants Me For a Sunbeam

I got a new calling yesterday. Not much else has been on my mind since Sunday morning. The pressure associated with this calling is really weighing heavily on me. It's something that I've never done before and is really going to take some effort on my part. What is this new high-pressure calling you ask?

Sunbeam teacher. (For those who aren't familiar with how our church works, the Sunbeams are the 3-4 year old children.)

Now before you spit whatever you are drinking out your nose and all over your keyboard, let me tell you why I feel this way. First of all, I'm super bad at relating to young kids. I play with my daughter (she's almost 2), teach her and read to her, but I have a hard time really getting on her level. Spencer on the other hand is down on the floor with her playing puppet show or some other kind of pretend game. He has her laughing and giggling and totally enthralled in what he's doing. When we have to sub in the the Nursery (18 months-3 years), he is the one all the kids gather around because he's so stinkin' fun!

Second, these kids are like sponges. They soak up and spit out whatever they see or hear. There is some serious pressure to make sure what I teach them is correct. On the other hand I want them to remember what I teach so I can't just sit there and blah, blah, blah my whole lesson. A couple years ago I taught the 15-16 year old Sunday School class. I absolutely loved that calling! I felt like I could relate to those kids. Five 3 year olds though, I'm not sure I can.

The good thing about this calling is it's going to take real planning and pondering so that I can get the inspiration I need to teach these kids. This will help me to rely on the Lord more throughout my day. I have to be sensitive to the Spirit when it whispers little ideas into my head. The thought came to me today that one purpose of this calling is to prepare me for what lies ahead with my little daughter when she turns 3 in a year. My callings as of late have been less than difficult so I guess the Lord knew it was time for me to be challenged. I hope I can live up to that challenge!

7 comments:

Krissy Dowler said...

Jamie,

You will do just fine.

I know this feeling that you are having right now, because I once did when I was first called Sunbeam teacher. They will love you. And... when you are realeased someday you will look back as I did yesterday and say " I enjoyed being a sunbeam teacher and will miss them terribly."

I am excited for you. They are special spirits.

Jamie J said...

Thanks Krissy. I actually got your class, so any insights, tips or tricks would be helpful!

Susan M said...

Sunbeams are awesome. Some advice:

Prepare more stuff to do than you think you'll ever need, cuz you will need it---all.

Snacks, if you can afford it/your ward meets at the right time, might be a good idea, but check with parents first about what they allow their kids to eat. I had a mom get mad at me for feeding the sunbeams fruit snacks (the little gummy things).

A jump rope is awesome for bathroom/water fountain breaks, or for taking them on a walk outside for a lesson on nature. Each kid holds onto the jump rope and you lead. (Rather than holding hands.) It's a good way to keep them from running in all directions. Might be handy for getting them to sharing time/back to the classroom as well.

Have fun! It's a wonderful age, and don't feel bad about not being a toddler-magnet type. I'm not either, but I loved being in nursery and also teaching sunbeams. They'll look up to you and love you no matter what, because you're their teacher.

LammyAnn said...

OH what I wouldn't give to be in Sunbeams now! I totally understand your nervousness... but those kids are wonderfully loyal and easily entertained!
One of my favorite Sunbeam sites is
http://www.youngzones.org/nursery/Lessons.html

It says "Nursery" pages, but it is taken from the same book you use for Sunbeams lessons.
Also, www.theideadoor.com is a great resource for primary stuff.
And, if your ward has no snack budget, make a snack bucket for each sunbeam to take home and bring something nutricious back. The kids feel important being the one to be in charge of that. I had to call and remind the parents on Saturday morning, and always had some back-up crackers on hand, Just in case.
Good luck--you'll be great!

Jamie J said...

Susan, thanks for the advice. I am meeting with the Primary Pres sometime this week so I'll ask her about the snacks. We meet at 11 so I'm sure they'd get pretty restless. I hope to get my book soon so I know what lesson to plan for. I'd hate for my first lesson to be thrown together the night before!

Jamie J said...

Lammyann, Thanks for the websites. I'll definitly check them out! I need all the help I can get!

Krissy said...

Jamie,

I have my manual and will give it to Shawn to give to you tomorrow when he comes to Home Teach your family.

I will include what lesson we stopped on and some hints. They are a wonderful class, and they will love you.