Posted by: monsonmadness | January 15, 2012

Big changes…

…well, they are to me at least. How I spend the majority of my time is about to shift drastically this week for two reasons.

#1. I am changing jobs. If you remember back, I decided to teach at my kid’s school because it allowed my older children to be in a school environment with their peers and I could be with Emma and Mary. To cut a really long story short, the school that we attend is probably not what you picture. There are a few truly dedicated people who are working their hearts out to provide a good education, but it is such a struggle with limited funding and resources.

Since about October, I have been working on helping out with interventions for both academic and behavioral issues. I have been helping some teachers with their class room management, and then in December, I was asked to help with the kindergarten program. There were some discipline and academic issues that needed to be improved. After some observation, we changed the daily schedule and put more academics in place of “fun”. We gave the class more structure and added more routine for the kids.

This last week, I spent countless hours pulling the kindergarten students one by one and testing them in math and language arts to see how they measured up to the standards given by the Department of Education. The results were as expected, we have a handful of children who are excelling at school, but the majority are performing very poorly below standards. Some of these children don’t speak English very well, and some of these children don’t exactly have the reinforcement at home that would really help them thrive at school.

The principal approached me and asked me to teach the kindergarten class which is currently held in the morning, at the same time that I teach Mary and Emma’s class. I had to think about it, and the more I did, the more I realized that I just didn’t feel comfortable having Mary and Emma in a class with someone else, and then I would bring them home and put them down for naps. I would hardly get to see them if I agreed to the new change.

Suddenly a compromise dawned on me. I offered to teach the kindergarten class (Daniel’s class) in the AFTERNOON. Perfect arrangement. So now, I stay home with Mary, Emma, and Daniel in the morning and teach them at home, and then I go into the school at lunch time and teach kindergarten while Mary and Emma are napping in daycare. Win-win situation except I lose my “quiet time” each day, and I don’t normally do well without a little unwinding time each day. I’ll just have to learn to manage my time better. I am really excited to be teaching Daniel and his friends, truth be told, I was getting a little sick of the monotonous ABC’s, shapes, and colors thing all the time, now I can go much deeper and really teach important things with a lot more variety to these wonderful children. Hooray!

#2. I have a new calling at church. You may remember that in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we do not have a paid ministry. (more here) and members of the church are called by revelation and then volunteer their time and service as teachers and other leaders. This has been a huge blessing in my life and I have had many wonderful experiences that have helped me and my family.

Since July, I have been teaching the 3 year olds each week on Sunday. Michael teaches the 14-15 year old boys on Sundays, and meets with them one night at week for activities. My new church assignment is 1st counselor in the Primary presidency. This is the organization that takes care of the children aged 18 months -12 years. A president is called over the whole Primary, and she has two counselors, which is what I’ll be doing. We are responsible for Sunday school classes and teaching of the children, sharing time, the scouting and activity days programs, quarterly activities for all the children, an annual presentation, and much more. We have just over 100 children in this program.

I am really excited for this new change. I don’t do very well with transitions, so I wish I could fast forward my life just a couple of weeks so that I’m in a good schedule for work, church, and home, but I’ll get there eventually! I sense lots of learning opportunities ahead…


  1. sounds wonderful! I was just released as 2nd counselor in Primary and it was such a great time! The handbook has changed a bit, we don’t hold quarterly activities anymore, but maybe it is different in other countries. I’m now 1st counselor in YW and I LOVE this calling too. I have to say, I absolutely LOVE being a counselor, it is a good spot to be! Good luck!

  2. Congrats on the new job and the new calling!! I would have hard time giving up my quiet nap time too, but I’m sure it will be nice to be doing something different at the school. Lucky kids to have you as their teacher!

  3. Thanks for always sharing your adventures Helen. I’m excited for your fun new changes! You are so amazing, I don’t know how you do it all. I have so much respect for you. You have such a great family. I love that last picture of your naked high heeled Emma. LOVE IT!!!!!

  4. Good luck with kindergarten. It sounds like a good compromise. Also best wishes with the new calling. After many years of playing the piano I too have a new calling. I’m the nursery leader. I don’t mind at all. Since Robyn is now 7 years old this gives me my little kid fix.

  5. Wow, new job, new calling, new time management challenges(haha). What a way to start out the new year. If should feel like a fresh new start. I know change is often difficult, but it sounds like the Lord has put you into positions (both at work and at church) where you are doing things that will impact more people and in a more positive way. May the LORD bless you in your new assignments. Always remember 1 Nephi 3:7

    Manuia le Aso

    Tofa for now,


  6. Helen, you will be a great counselor in the Primary and a great kindergarten teacher. The kids are lucky to have you.

  7. What exciting opportunities! Thank you for sharing. I love seeing the purposes of God unfold in your life!

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