Why is it that I seem to think of blog posts as I am rushing to get to church each week?
Since I am a substitute teacher I think often of how I can present my lesson material to the sisters to make it interesting and engaging. Each month, I read the lesson and choose several sections that I think we can cover during the hour. I read the Section Question aloud to the sisters; then we all read together (or “Popcorn” as some teachers may know it to be called); then I read the question again at the end of the section and hopefully we have a great discussion about what was just read. 🙂
Last month I had prepared a different way to give my lesson. I friend of mine who is a 2nd grade teacher, and also taught for Relief Society last month as a substitute, shared this method with me and I really felt good about it. “Let’s do it!”, I thought to myself. I was excited. I had prepared. I thought the lesson would be great! Interesting! Engaging! Participation to the “T”! I was ready to go!
Except for one thing.
That morning I felt sick. Scared. Nervous. Uneasy. Unhinged. I could not figure it out! I shouldn’t be nervous to stand before these women – most of them have known me since birth. It was the oddest feeling. I couldn’t much put my finger on it. I just knew something was different. Was it me? Why was I doubting things and my ability? What was going on? What was up? Right before class I was reviewing the chapter and a sister came over to me to visit. I shared with her my feelings, and I said to her that I wondered if this was the Spirit telling me something? She said that there was a difference between doubting my ability and receiving an impression from the Holy Ghost. OF COURSE she was right. I just didn’t know how to tell which was which!
Even as I walked into the Relief Society room I had no idea which was I was going to teach the lesson. As I walked up to the podium, I began to talk. Sometimes like to make small jokes (nothing inappropriate) but I say that I am OK with throwing myself under the bus as long as *I* am the one doing it. 🙂 And I shared my dilemma about which way I was going to present my lesson to them. The:
- Standard, old hat, way I always had.
- Group the sisters according to Sections in the lesson. Give them about 10 minutes to read then go ahead. My wish in doing this was to generate more discussion between them, instead of me talking “at” them for the entire time (which is how I felt I had done it).
And, I just went into #1. The usual way I teach.
After the lesson was over I had a few women tell me that they really dislike lessons using #2. And another one told me last week that she was glad I chose #1 because it was “something I was good at”.
In hindsight I am very glad to have had this experience. While I am not the best at articulating things, it was good for me to have those “feelings” and to discern to the best of my ability and then give it my best shot.