Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Dating Decisions

This weeks lesson was on dating decisions.  In preparing this lesson I took highly into account one of our church values, which is that youth should not be dating until they are 16 years of age.  This allows time for an individual to grow and mature before entering the dating scene.  Hopefully church values and morals are accepted by youth at this age and a stronger sense of who they are and the person they really want to date is established.

One of the first things I did when getting ready to start preparing this lesson, was get myself into a comfortable position to read through the lesson outline in the young womens manual.  My chosen space was my bed.  I lay down with a bunch of pillows under my head  The resources I had to help me prepare this lesson were as follows:
  • standard exercise book
  • Young Womens Lesson Manual
  • pen
  • highlighter
  • Young Womens Personal Progress book (achievement book for girls in the young womens programme)
The lesson covered scriptures and quotes by church leaders regarding the topic of dating.
Now 12-13 yr old girls don't really want to talk about this kind of stuff with their Sunday school teacher, so I decided to incorporate a technique that would relax the teaching envrionment - food.   I decided I'd take some pop-corn for the girls to pass around in a circle to help open the girls up to sharing thier thoughts on dating.  I also made up an idea for a dating game in which I would ask the girls one at a time to tell me what they would do if they were in a sticky date situations.  Some of the dating scenario were - "If a boy you don't know asks you to dance, what do you say?" , or "If a boy you've been on a couple of dates with leans in for a kiss, how would you react?".  Real cute and simple stuff like that. The girls love games, and learn sometimes more from them.

The girls absolutely loved it.  They were laughing and gigling and really opening up to the awkward topic of dating. I loved teaching this lesson.  I felt relaxed and confident with what I was teaching, and was happy with the end result - smiling faces leaving the room.

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

My Chosen Activity: Preparing to teach Sunday School

My chosen occupation is teaching sunday school to 12-13yr old girls.  I find it challenging at times to make the lessons interresting for the girls, but at the same time I love being a teacher because it pushes me both spiritually and mentally (to be creative).  The first lesson was a success which set me off to a great start at being the 'new' teacher.  There is no limit as to how long you are assigned to be a teacher at church, could be anywhere from a few weeks to a number years.  I have found that the girls, being typical teenages enjoy activities/games more than the essential lesson doctrine itsef, so it is important to apply both into each lesson so that the girls go away having learned something of worth and wanting to come back next sunday for more.

The most recent class I have taught was on Sunday 4 September.  The lesson was on avoiding dishonesty.  I taught this class to a slightly larger group of girls as this was a combined lesson with girls aged 12-17yrs. As a side note, there are three main age groups in the Young Womens Programme at church: 
  • Beehives  12-13yr (this is my main young womens class)
  • Mia Maids  14-15yrs
  • Laurels  16-17yrs
In preparing for this lesson I looked at the lesson guidelines which are in our church Young Womens teaching Manual.  After reading through the information in the manual, I wrote out in my own excercise book how I would like the lesson to flow.  By taking ideas from the manual and other church magazines I was able to plan out what I wanted in my lesson.  I also added an activity to the lesson which was from my own memory of engaging in it at some point in my life.  I related the activity to a web of lies.  I wanted to ask the girls to split into two or three groups of  five and link hands in the middle.  The aim was then to attempt to get out of their tangle and into a circle without letting go of eachothers hands.

The class went well.  It was a little nerve racking as the teachers of the other two young women groups were there also, but I feel the lesson went o.k and benefited the girls spiritual learning in a positive way.