Learning How To Ask For Things!

I have a bad habit of not asking for what I want. I didn’t even realize that I didn’t ask for what I wanted until I was talking to my husband and he told me that he couldn’t read my mind. I was shocked that he would say that. I thought that I was pretty clear about telling him what I wanted, but obviously not or he wouldn’t have said that to me.I’m glad that he told me that or else I wouldn’t have reflected back on my bad habit of not asking for what I want. Once I thought about it, I realized it was true. My thoughts immediately took me to a time when I was in junior high school and I didn’t ask to go on the camping trip.

Growing up with so many sisters and brothers with not a lot of money, I learned not to ask for too much. In fact, I stopped asking for stuff altogether. I remember in junior high school, my junior high school, Bret Harte Junior High School, was going on a camping trip. It was only $10, but I didn’t ask my mother because I didn’t want to be told no because I knew that she didn’t have the money. Although $10 wasn’t a lot of money, back in 1984, it seemed insurmountable to me because there were so many of us and so little money.

My brother who was also in band asked my mother. Of course she told him no because there was no money. She asked me why I didn’t ask her to go also. I told her the truth, that I didn’t ask because I didn’t think that there was enough money. Although I’m sure she didn’t have the money, she told me that I should have asked anyway.

I guess I never learned my lesson because to this day I rarely ask for anything.

This is hampering me in my relationships both private and professional. This situation also came up with my principal at work. She said that I wasn’t asking for what I needed. This is not true. I actually made a list of all the necessary programs and equipment that I felt I needed to successfully do my job. The problem is that I gave it to the APEIS who ceremoniously forgot about it. So, in this case it was unfounded.

Once the APEIS realized that she was the one that wasn’t taking care of business she felt silly because she realized that I was trying to communicate my needs to her but she was the one who dropped the ball. Not me. In this case, it was a matter of not getting the list to the right person. The principal advised me to come to her if the APEIS isn’t doing her job. I, however, find it hard to believe that she would be of any help to me since I have asked for help with the management of my students. To which she replied (and I quote), ” I don’t know where you think this magical help is supposed to come from”.

At any rate, I will make it a habit of asking for what I want. That, and communication, are what I will be working on this year.

Join me in my journey won’t you!


He’s Not Heavy. He’s My Brother!

I spoke with a family member recently about building trust, relationships and self-esteem. I was telling her about how much work I put into my class- both emotionally and physically.

She was very supportive and offered me some advice that I am taking to heart. It was so simple that I don’t think that I would have thought of it.Well, she’s a counselor at a camp for underprivileged chldren. We discussed that exercise where someone has to trust you enough to fall back into your arms. She told me that this is a great trust building exercise. They don’t need to fall far; just far enough where they fall into your chest. Just enough for you to earn their trust.

I slapped my forehead.

“Why didn’t I think of that?” I thought to myself.

My job is a lot of responsibility. It is not one to be taken lightly. Even though I may go through a lot, I can take care of myself. These children can’t. I am having a hard time but I am committed to helping these children.

Their lot in life is much harder than mine. My job is to help them. Isn’t that what life is all about? Aren’t we supposed to help the downtrodden and less fortunate? Holding up our unfortunate brothers and sisters are what those who are more fortunate are supposed to do. That is why holding up someone shouldn’t make your arms tired. My arms cannot get tired holding someone up. After all, he’s not heavy. He’s my brother!

I am thinking of more things that I can do to build a community among my students. If anyone out there knows of anything else, please feel free to leave comments.