Winging It

Sister Paul stuck her head in my room and asked if I had an extra manual. She teaches the next class up, the 14-year-olds that I had last year. When they say you love those you serve, I had no idea how true it was until I was called to teach a dozen teenagers Sunday School. It’s been two years now, and I’ve never loved a calling more than I love teaching these kids. Which of course means I’ll be released soon and thrown in Nursery or (shoot me now) Scouts.

“Here, you can have mine. I’m winging it today.”

She took my book and slipped out the door. I never even cracked the cover this week. Prep is not one of my strong suits, and if I prep at all, it’s usually skimming the lesson in Sacrament meeting to make sure I have the gist. I know the topic, but don’t make a map. This might be horrifying for some teachers, I’ve found it works astoundingly well with these teens.

When I first was called, I would read the plan over, photocopy my quotes, and try to “involve” the class in the proscribed manner. It went over like a lead balloon. I could see their shiny eyes glaze over and practically feel the energy drain from the room. This bothered me. A lot. These were smart kids. Most of them knew the scriptures backward and forward- they grew up in the church, and had heard all the lessons ten times over.

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