“I need help,” is a phrase that makes me cringe… but only when it’s coming from myself.
Why is asking for help (and admitting you need it) so difficult? Asking for help still has a negative stigma. If I need help, I must be weak. I must be wrong. I must not be good enough.
But that couldn’t be farther from the truth!
To ask for help, you have to recognize you need it and be strong enough to verbalize it. Asking for help opens you up to rejection and judgement but it also opens you up to the help you need.
As the school year approaches, I begin to get nervous about all the things I need to do to prepare my room and myself. I created a to do list, to buy list, and an I need help list. On this last list are items I need my husband or a janitor to help me with as well as little items that need to get done but I don’t necessarily have to do them.
As the summer passes, I am getting more and more pregnant and less able to do all the things I want or need. I seriously started to panic, “how will I get my room ready in time?!?”
By asking for help.I sent the below message to five parents from last year (I picked these five because from their students and because they were still active on my Remind app)-
“As the school year approaches, I am beginning to think about my classroom, new students, and the students moving to 7th grade that I will miss dearly. To set up for this year, I am looking for some help to sort, organize, peel stickers, label, check markers, etc. Your students stick out in my mind as being especially gifted in compassion, organization, and kindness. I am beginning my classroom setup X from 10-3 and would appreciate the help of your student if they are willing and able. If they are able and allowed to help that day, please let me know here or via email. Any student helping that day will be given pizza for lunch and a pencil pouch full of supplies like pencils and erasers to use in 7th grade. Thank you for taking the time to read this and, more importantly, raising such kind students!”All five parents answered! To my surprise, all of them said their child wanted to help! Two were on vacation and three were available.
I never would have gotten help without asking. These students are helping me for 5 hours which will easily save me 3-4 days of working on my own with stopping, snacking, sitting, and potty breaks. Not only is setting up my room tedious, it’s exhausting while pregnant. 🤰
I do want to clarify one thing. You don’t have to pay for the help you need, usually. If you need someone to take more time and hang out with you, don’t bribe them. If you need to see a doctor, you’re not bribing them but you do need to pay them.
I know these students would have helped me for free but I felt it was only right to provide lunch and some useful items to pay them for their work.
Asking for help is a strength, not a weakness. Ask for it when you need it and give it when you are able.
Teaching In Public