Today’s lesson: obedience.
June 17, 2006: 2 hours, 3 children, ages 4, 6, and 7. Another class that went well, especially since I didn’t really take all that much time to prepare. Before the class, we (the teachers) had a little time to chat and determined that we should focus on having each of the children say a prayer, or at least participate in the prayers. Some of our kids don’t really like saying prayers – we haven’t quite figured out why. I’ve been wondering whether it might be related to the atmosphere we create surrounding prayers – perhaps they need some quiet-down time before starting with prayers, or perhaps we just need to be firmer. Anyway, we took advantage of the class’s theme, starting the class by telling the kids we would be talking about obedience today, and that one way we show our obedience (to God) is by praying. One of the kids was more than happy to recite prayers, but the other two (the younger ones – not sure if that’s relevant?) didn’t want to. One of them eventually lip-synched a prayer and we ended the prayers by singing a prayer together, so we left it at that. I’d really appreciate feedback from people who’ve had similar issues surrounding prayers… we’re trying to understand what we might be doing or not doing that is keeping certain children from participating in the prayers (to the point of consistently refusing!)
The other point of revisiting obedience is because this week’s class falls on Father’s Day weekend – you know, obedience to parents and all that. After reading a story about Lua Getsinger and her obedience to ‘Abdu’l-Baha and performing some skits comparing obedience and disobedience, we set to work on Father’s Day cards. These were sheets of paper folded in 4, on which the kids drew and wrote “Happy Father’s Day” type messages. We had planned several other things to work on (such as prize ribbons made by paper-folding) in case we had extra time, but ended up finishing on time without having gone into the extra activities. The activities went well because folding paper is just fun, but I think the kids found it difficult not to have an example already finished to guide them. We’ve come across this before… food for thought! All in all, the class flew by (which is a good sign, I suppose). We seem to have some pretty good luck with this topic – every time we talk about obedience, the kids are more obedient. Maybe we’re too soft the rest of the time! Actually, that’s another thing we’ve discussed – we tend to be soft on discipline and not to push too hard when the kids don’t want to do something. That can be a big problem though, especially when it comes to prayers – God tells us to pray, so we can’t just not do it.
Thoughts about all this are greatly welcomed!!!