Thursday, October 1, 2009

So on Sunday night our Primary Presidency did a training for all the teachers, scout leaders, achievement day, nursery, etc. I think it went well. For the benefit of my friends and family that are currently in Primary, I thought I'd post a few of the ideas I shared. I just copied and pasted my notes, so its pretty rough, but you get the general idea.


We’ve all heard the phrase “Magnify your calling” and the first thing we think of is “I’ve got to be doing more, more, more”. But, think of a magnifying glass and a plant. If you use the magnifying glass to magnify that plant, you are not making the plant larger, you are actually focusing on a very small part of the plant, the root, a portion of the stem, a petal, a leaf, etc., and honing in on the details of that smaller portion. So, when you hear ‘magnify your calling’, I want you not to think of “doing more”, but in a sense ‘doing less, but doing it better -- more focused’.

And, what should we focus on? That is what I want to talk about tonight. I’m focusing on training and from all the manuals, handbooks, talks and articles I read on Primary training, there were always TWO things in common.

1) Love those you teach “Every member of the Church is important to us. Indeed, every personmember or notis important to us, but surely among the most significant of all our responsibilities is the responsibility to protect and nurture the children of the Church. . . . We care so much about you and about the children you are teaching. Prepare well to bless these little ones. Give it your best effort. Your influence will, quite literally, affect these children for eternity. Enjoy the assignment that you have, and discharge it faithfully. . . . However much we love and admire children, I am certain we underestimate who and what a child is and what in the hands of God he or she may become. May God bless you always in your sacred opportunity to help save the children of this Church” (Jeffrey R. Holland, Message to Primary Leaders, Mar. 2006).

2) Use the scriptures:

(For this part, I talked about how we can and should use the scriptures in all aspects of teaching in Primary. I promised to use them every sharing time somehow. As I was preparing for the training, I was trying to think of a good way to break it down for all levels of primary. Using the scriptures in a Sunbeams class and using them in a Val 11 class mean different things. So, I came up with this 'chart' for lack of a better word of how if each level of primary focuses on using the scriptures appropriately, that the end result will be self-reliance in the gospel for the children as they enter the YM/YW program.)

I used "Daniel and the Lions Den" as my example

Nursery / Sunbeams: Learn stories (use pictures) -- At this point, realistically all you can do is tell them the stories and get them excited about it. They can just learn about Daniel and how the Lions didn't eat him.

CTR 5/6: Learn that they are real (show them the scriptures) -- Here the teachers can tell the stories while explaining that this really happened, that Daniel really lived and open the scriptures to show where theses stories come from and that they aren't from a book of fairy tales, etc.

CTR 7/8: Learn how to find the story, read it for themselves (using the table of contents): By the time the kids reach this level, they are learning to read and excited about it. Use this excitement to teach them how to find the stories, for example that the story of Daniel is in the Old Testament, using the index or tabs to find and read it.

Val 9/10: Learn the principle behind the story (courage) As the kids are growing, they will be able to understand that there is more to a story than just a story. The Scriptures teach us life lessons. In this example, the lesson was courage to stand up for your beliefs.

Val 11/12: Learn to apply that principle in their own lives: As the kids prepare to leave Primary, they can learn how to apply the scripture stories to their own lives. At this point, they probably will be in a situation similar to Daniel, where they might be teased for their beliefs. They can choose courage and know that they are following the lesson the learned from Daniel.

Thus, by the time they 'graduate', they will have learned how to use scriptures to get own answers (self-reliance in learning the gospel). I think this is the best possible gift we could ever give the primary children of the church. Imagine a ward full of beehives and deacons who know the scriptures, know how to use them, and know how to learn and get answers to their own questions from the scriptures!

If we all just focus on magnifying our own little section in our class, we can accomplish wonderful things together.

Well, that sums up my training. Obviously this is just my own opinion, so take it as you may. Hopefully it will be helpful to you somehow, whether you have primary aged children, are working in primary, or know someone who is!

1 comment:

Bojana said...

I've never thought about 'magnifying our calling' this way but it really makes sense!And teaching the kids from the scriptures, to love the scriptures and use them - you're right, it's just one of the best things we can do for them. We usually have FHE lessons from the new Nursery manual and this week we learnt how the BofM teaches us about Jesus. And it mentions how it teaches us Jesus healed the sick and blessed the children (my favourite chapter in the Book of Mormon). And it reminded me how Jesus wanted everyone to be there when he was teaching them, men, women and children, and so the kids also heard him teaching from the scriptures. I love this story!

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