September 10, 2008

{surprise} observation

my supervisor was kind enough to warn me of the first observation he would be doing. after that, it's impromptu. to my utter horror, he showed up today - only a week since the last time he was here! the class got off to a good start... sort of. we were finishing up the christmas lesson with my a-day class, spending time talking about the shepherds, mary, joseph, and the baby jesus. the shepherds came first, so we talked about "hastening to Christ" and what that meant to us individually. i then had them write in their journals about ways they could personally do better at hastening to Christ. it was going well, ... that is, until i had some students share what they had written down.

the discussion was good and fun, then one of the girls talked about how she would wear her church clothes all day on sundays so she could be closer to her Savior. then some of the other girls complained, "but boys have it so much easier! we have to wear dresses ..." then the boys started rebutting, "no, i would so much rather wear a skirt! pants have restrictions! we have restrictions!" it was in the middle of this bickering that i felt the spirit get up and leave.

the class was in an uproar and i had a strong desire to run away from the entire situation. unfortunately, i'm the teacher and the teacher can't run away and leave a class of thirty-two 9th graders to fend for themselves (no matter how appealing it may sound). i strained to focus their energy back to the lesson without much success. rain started pouring from the sky, so much so that we could hear it clearly. that distracted them, then the huge clap of thunder right above us drove us even further in our spiral downwards.

there were a few moments at the end of the lesson (and a lot of moments after it) that i had the urge to start crying. i felt like a failure, being flustered and frustrated! at the end i finally got their attention long enough to bear a testimony that went over alright and a student did the statement of principle (basically a student tells the class at least one thing they learned that day, which usually ends in a testimony) and i forced them to stay for the prayer even though the bell had started to ring (the "bell" we have is music, which makes them want to just jump up and leave).

my supervisor is the most wonderful man in the world. and the nicest. he helped me analyze the lesson: where it went badly, what could have helped, what to do in the future, etc. i started to get tears in my eyes at certain points in the talk ... i think mostly from disappointment in myself. as he left, he kept asking if i was ok. "keep your chin up!" he told me he wasn't worried about me at all and the things i do well outnumber the bad, even though the bad is what i tend to dwell on.

if nothing else ... at least there's nowhere else to go but up!