Two helpful PDF documents included in this post: 1) Primary substitute sing-up sheet and, 2) Teacher Responsibilities Handout (see below)
Do Primary Teachers (Teacher Responsibilities Handout) know how important they are? If you ask me, it’s one of the most important callings in the church! Unfortunately, I think many teachers don’t know how influential they can be. As a newlywed, my husband and I were called to teach the Sunbeam class in our new family ward, and I admit, I didn’t fully understand how important our influence could be. I remember feeling isolated from the other adults in the ward because I was never in Sunday School or Relief Society. One big challenge was trying to find substitutes, I didn’t know anyone, who was I supposed to call to sub for me? These are all valid concerns, and perhaps you’ve felt some of them yourself.
When I was a counselor in the Primary presidency a few years back, we knew that teachers finding substitutes was a problem for everyone involved: the presidency members when the teachers didn’t find a substitute, the teachers because they needed to make the plans for the substitute, and the children if no one showed up to teach their class on Sunday. Knowing this, we came up with an idea that we thought would be a win on all accounts! We created a substitute sign-up sheet and sent it around Sunday School, Relief Society, and Priesthood meetings and asked people to sign up if they were willing to fill in when a teacher or leader was out-of-town or sick. Then, we had columns on the form indicating the different areas that a person would feel comfortable subbing in e.g Nursery Teacher, Music Chorister, Primary Teacher, or Sharing Time Teacher. We compiled a master list of all the people who signed up to be potential substitutes and made a copy for each teacher and included it in their class notebook which held their teaching manual, class roster, and visual aids (as well as a pencil pouch with a roll of tape, chalk, small box of crayons and a small pair of scissors). Putting together these notebooks with the substitute list and class supplies was our way to assist the teachers to be prepared and help them understand how important their calling is! In Primary you have the potential to teach and mold future generations! I am personally so grateful for the Primary teachers who prepare memorable and meaningful lessons each week for my children. Thank you!
Include in each notebook the wonderful Teaching Guidebook, which you can order for free at store.lds.org. In this post there are 2 documents that are excellent resources for each teacher to have. Did you notice up above in my first sentence that “Primary Teacher” was highlighted with a link? Well if you didn’t already click on it out of curiosity, go back and do so now so you can see a concise breakdown of what one is committing to do when accepting a call as a Primary teacher. Next, I included a blank copy of a Primary substitute sign-up sheet (2nd paragraph). This is something that a Primary presidency could pass around and then once filled with names and contact info. pass it on to your Primary teachers. It was so helpful to have a place to start when I was a Primary teacher searching for a substitute. Little things like this can make a huge difference in helping our Primary teachers feel supported in their very important (and often challenging) calling to teach the gospel to our children!
Primary Teacher Notebooks:
- Teacher Responsibilities Handout
- Class Roster
- Primary schedule with specific times
- Teaching Guidebook
- Teaching Manual
- Substitute list with contact information
- Pencil pouch full of necessary items: crayons, chalk, scissors, tape, pencils