Children are precious gifts. Since I have been working with children this summer, I have come to realize that there are many things that children can teach me. The first thing that the children have taught me is to manage my life not by obligation, but sometimes by what I want to do. Often, I am cleaning the classroom and one of the little ones comes to me and says, “Can you read me a story?” Immediately, my heart melts and I want to stop what I am doing to read to my student. So, I finish my task promptly and lift the little one onto my lap to hear a story. The children have shown me that it is not the tasks that need to be done in life that are important. Rather, it is the people who truly deserve the best of my time.
The children have taught me yet another treasured lesson. Do not take life too seriously. Every day, I have to sweep the classroom. I am often very focused on finishing my task. Well, I am focused until one of my little students comes to help me sweep the floor. I hear their sweet small voice saying, “I’m gonna help you.” At first I think, “I cannot let them help me. It will take twice as long to get this floor swept.” But, as the little one grabs the dustpan, slowly pushes it across the floor, and begins to bring crumbs to me one at a time, I realize how much it means to the child to be able to help me. She does not want to construct puzzles or to color. She wants to help me sweep the floor. I complain to myself about my task, but she is eager to help me. I watch her face as she holds the dustpan for me it no longer matters that the floor will take thirty minutes to sweep instead of ten. Sometimes, I tend to rush through life. I go from one task to another, sometimes mentally recording the speed by which I finish each task. However, I find that when I stop and give my quality time where it is due, I am never disappointed. Children have shown me the true importance of quality time and for this, I thank them even if it means spending hours sweeping the floor.