But, I am starting to loosen my grip, to allow others to help me. This is NOT easy. It requires humility. My new school is a parent participation school. Parents are required to donate two and a half hours of labor each week. This is incredible to me. I watch parents pick up trash, serve yard duty, work with students, grade papers, and perform maintenance on the school building. For weeks, I have watched a parent who arrives at school after his regular job, to immediately start cleaning up the playground with a leaf blower and a broom. He always has a smile on his face.
These parents are eager to help and to give. It has been a blessing for me to have this time donated to me and to my students.
Today, I had a student stay in from P.E. because she is recovering from a bad bout with the flu. Generally, my philosophy has always been to do everything in the classroom, to control everything. In the past, I rarely let kids genuinely help. I thought that it was more important for them to play and to enjoy being kids. Today, I asked this student to help me with some tasks. So, we sat side by side, and worked together. I could tell that it made her feel great to be useful. I thought back to my favorite teachers in elementary school. Each one of them let me help in the classroom, and after school. And, it's one of the reasons that I loved taking part in their classes. My effort was needed.
What sad lessons for me to learn so far along in life! But, at least I'm finally understanding a bit about how to receive service gracefully.