Thursday, February 5, 2009

Open Apology to the Young Women

Megan wrote a blog about being the newest teacher in YW. She talked about being nervous and worried she wasn't well enough prepared and worried nobody liked her lesson. She asked for suggestions on how to get more participation. (Even though her participation level was WAY up.) I posted the following comment:

Welcome to Young Women’s. First read that as a really warm welcome. (Because, really, welcome.) Then, read it sorta sarcastically…because you had relatively good attention on Sunday. I LOVE that you called on the girls without them raising their hands. They have become a little lazy during lesson time and want the leaders to answer all the questions or for you to have games and treats or both. Do not feel compelled to do either one. We had a mini-lesson on reverence about a month (maybe more) ago. I think we need to re-do that and add class participation to it. The girls need an attitude adjustment. I was like you as a YW. Into the lesson, spiritual, opened my scriptures. Not these girls. It’s nothing to them. I want to change that. Help me change that. Your lesson was great! Really well-prepared and your object lesson went perfectly. You’re doing awesome.

A few days later Aubrey (one of our YW) posted this comment:

I wasnt there on sunday to see it but i am sure they feel the same as me… sometimes it may look like we are not paying attention but really we are. if we dont answer the questions maybe we just dont know what to say. i have never been good at answering the questions so i learn more from hearing the answers of others… i feel the spirit every week. and patty cant say it is nothing to us! she doesnt know that! i love looking up scriptures.

So. Obviously I was seriously in the wrong. I was reading the situation all wrong. Sometimes I feel like I was just in young women so I know "everything." I don't. I don't know what these girls are feeling or what they are going through unless I ask them. I didn't ask. I made the assumption that I knew and I was off. Way off. Aubrey is right. I don't know what the girls are feeling and it is wrong to think that I do.

I love the young women. I never want released. They make me laugh so hard. They are ridiculously smart and incredibly funny. Just last Tuesday we were having pie and Aubrey had Noelle draw pictures on her face with the chocolate pie. And then she went around and talked to people with this huge chocolate sun on her forehead! They are so honest and pure. In my small moment of frustration I looked over that. I am sorry.

I am the one who needs an attitude adjustment. I need to really show you girls how much I love you. Constantly. I pray for you every night. I need to think of you more often and do what I can to make your life better.

I know that you're probably going to be mad at me for awhile. They are your emotions and you are entitled to them. But know that I love you.

Truly,
Sister Poulsen

8 comments:

johnandjana said...

Patty,
I love Young Women's and it is way hard to be a leader. I know how you feel because it does seem like the girls don't care as much and it is easy to jump to conclusions. Just listen to them and let them talk. Be their friend and just love them. It is so hard now days to be a youth. There are so many temptations and the girls don't know how to communicate as well because of texting and never having to talk to anyone. I have a niece that went from happy to not wanting to do anything but text. She didn't even want to be with friends, go to Young Women's, or do anything. Pretty sad. Love them to pieces and know what is going on in their lives. Sorry for the sermon.

Lyner said...

That is a really sweet apology! I love you Patty! And I know my family does too! LOVE YOU LOVE YOU LOVE YOU!!!

The Empey Fam! said...

Oh Patty!!! I love you! That was a very sweet post!!! and yes my family still loves you very much!!!!

Nat said...

Hey, this is Karlenn's sister, that's also in Beehives in YW's. I taught a lesson in our class about money, and I graduated in finance, right? So I decided to put a situation on the board about "real life"-like a teacher, and what her expenses would be. I really think I scared the girls, because at the end they were all looking at me like they were going to DIE when they grow up, because they wouldn't be able to afford food.

At least, that's what it felt like, as the leader. I think sometimes when the girls look down, they're listening, but also feeling the spirit, but because it's not something they feel often or are used to, they aren't really sure how to react.

I remember when I was in YW's, and the lessons I liked best or remembered the best were the ones with some sort of personal story from my teacher, or object lessons. But I was also in a group of 8 girls, where it was easier to get participation; it's so much harder with a smaller group. I should know-our group now is 4 Beehives, if they all come.

I always try to have them read a scripture. And we have one girl with a mental handicap, so she's at about a six-year-old's level. I kind of try to play down a little bit, which I think actually helps all the girls so it's not so confusing or complex. The presidency before us actually made these journals for the girls that they keep in our closet at church. So at the end of the lesson I have the girls write for a few minutes in their journals, about their feelings about the lesson subject, or about how they can improve such-and-such in their lives. And I think it really helps them reflect. Just an idea.

Sorry this is so jumbled. I hope any of that helps you. Not that you were asking for teaching advice... But just know you're not alone in wondering if you're getting through to the girls. I'm sure all of you are great teachers!

Aubrey said...

i love you patty!!!!!!!

Karlenn said...

Pats, I love you tons. And it looks like everything is smoothed over.

Whit said...

patty! you are soo awsome! i love you!!!!

megan said...

Sweet apology, Patty. We all say things we regret! LOL I'm glad we're in YW together!