Monday, June 11, 2018

Asking for help is not a sign of weakness

Recently as I surveyed an upcoming event, I asked for help. I asked for help as I anticipated the struggle some students would have with the event. I anticipated these struggles given the fact that I've been with these students every day all year and know the kinds of events that can be challenging for them.

To some my request for help was seen as a weakness and met with sarcasm and no support. That concerned me and I started questioning myself. Then I reminded myself that typically if I anticipate a need for support after teaching for 32 years, I'm typically right--my experience shows me when staffing is adequate and when staffing is not sufficient. I am fairly good at anticipating students' challenges and need for greater support. Plus with inclusion classrooms, the reality is that students have support for specific reasons, and when events are more challenging, the support needed is typically greater.

That being said, we can't shy away from asking for help when we need it. If we don't get that help, so be it, we'll do our best, but we'll know that we did do our due diligence by pointing out a situation when more help is expected to be needed, and if we're wrong we have to own that too. No one is always right.

I tend to err on the side of safety with most things that I do, and if I think I'll need help, I'll ask for it. Onward.