Sunday, June 2, 2013

Teaching the Only One
Have you ever found yourself in a classroom with only one active YW?  In small wards, oftentimes there is only one Laurel, one MIA Maid, or one Beehive in your class.  Although this can be challenging, in some ways, this can be a blessing to you and to her.  Living in a small area, this has happened to me several times in my YW service.  Because of this, I have developed a deep bond of friendship with a few of my sweet girls that has lasted now into their married lives.  

I think the new curriculum is much more conducive to teaching one-on-one.  You and your young woman can learn together and teach each other in a way not possible with a larger class.  There is little distraction and little peer pressure.  It is important that she feel your love, interest, and dedication to her.  Try to make this a special bonding experience so she will not feel the desire to quit coming because she is "the only one." 

Sunday lessons, for me, are much easier than weekday activities when there is only one girl.  Begin by discussing  what her goals are for her year.  Does she want to prepare for a mission?  Is she getting ready for college? What does she like to do?  What has she always wanted to know or learn?  Use these to plan some activities together.  

On Sunday, set up a small table with two chairs set catty-corner, close enough to talk freely and maintain good eye contact.  This allows for talking freely, sharing openly, laughing, and whispering as the Spirit moves you.  Continue to prayerfully prepare your lessons for Sunday.  Seek the Holy Ghost.  You may need His influence now more than ever.  Read scriptures together and ask for her insights or how it applies to her life. Give this special girl the same attention you would give a class of 12 girls.  Have a handout; share a video or story; read and mark a talk by a General Authority together.  Encourage her to invite friends and be a missionary.  If you have the time, visit some of her activities, games, or performances.  Root for her at scripture mastery and sit, smiling, when she gives a talk in church. 

It is important to meet with the other girls when given the opportunity.  She should meet for combined YW and YM/YW activities, opening exercises, and firesides so she feels connected to the group as a whole.  You may occasionally feel the desire to combine with a class in the next age group to hers.  This can be beneficial for all involved.  It can also soften the blow when two good friends are separated enough in age to be in two different classes as well as lessen the feelings of isolation.  Laurels, especially, are so busy.  This can be a wonderful way to teach and "fit" her activities into your mutual schedules.  

It can be such a blessing to teach this one sweet spirit and get to know her.  What a trust it is to be her leader and watch her testimony form before your eyes in a way that you may have missed before.  What a joy this can be!

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