For many of us primary class instruction with a loyal, inspired and inspiring, pure, and uncompromising teacher has proved to be a blessing for which we can never be too grateful. Some sadder but wiser students now rue their experience, especially since it can't be returned at customer service for another try. Certainly, if a pig in a poke was chosen on the basis of propinquity, popularity, and prestige, that wasn't a strategy for long-term satisfaction.
Many years ago there was an embarrassment of riches for the prosective student to choose from. Now it is probably closer to just an embarrassment from which to select a poke. Personal ambition to become a teacher, fawning support of the Mother Church menu du jour, and a willingness to agree to any unsavory pre-condition has undoubtedly degraded the roster of this most important of callings.
It is easy to wish class instruction was not a one-off privilege, but Mrs Eddy's wisdom must trump any quibbles. The teacher has responsibilities to his pupils long after the class, so if more than one teacher was in the picture there could easily be a mental conflict on the student's part, especially if the least favored teacher's thought proved more dominant.
Maybe one can sweeten somewhat any regrets by reading some wonderful association papers by Samuel Greenwood, Martha Wilcox, and Dr. John Tutt. Those of Bicknell Young might also be added. Many of their association papers can be obtained from The Bookmark, (800)220-7767 or www.thebookmark.com. For some, such materials are, of course, proscribed by their teachers, which is understandable.
Mr. Young's "Primary Class of 1936" is also available, but should be approached with caution, if at all, since it is somewhat of its time. It is not a realistic alternative to good class instruction, which is provided for, after all, by Mrs. Eddy, though this questionable quarter-loaf might still prove more nourishing than a stale and moldy full one.