Hear, hear! If you are not sure about what you are doing with your content, your students, or your practice, ask for help! There are many others available in your building, at the TEN, and within your group of friends that are there for YOU!
When it came to getting help with content, my best resource was the teacher’s guide. However, when it came to how to get my point across to students, my colleagues were the most help. I always taught with at least 2 other teachers on my grade level and made friends with the librarian for extra super-duper help! Did you know that part of the librarian’s job in the school is to collaborate with the teachers!? I didn’t know that until I went to graduate classes to become a librarian! After being a one for 3 years in public schools, I realized how much I missed by not asking my schools’ librarians for more help.
Another person who would be incredibly useful to you is the special education teacher. They can give you suggestions for teaching methods that work especially well with lower level learners. You are responsible for reading your students’ IEP folders and abiding by the accommodations for the students in your classroom who might be on an IEP. I used to borrow materials from the learning lab to assist my IEP students in the regular classroom. Ask and you shall receive!
The reading and math specialists (or Title I teachers) are there to assist students with special needs in these areas. However, if you ask for help from them, they are likely to be of significant help to you and the students that may be attending these extra “special classes.”
The school counselor is another cooperative person I have contacted in the past when I was having behavior issues with certain students. They can help you establish behavior plans with students in your class and can help with behavior issues in your classroom.
This quote isn’t just for teachers; it is a great quote for your students as well. Make sure that you let them know that no one knows everything, but everyone knows something! It’s okay to ask for help. I used to tell my students “ask 3, then ask me” when I was working with a small group of students (such as in reading or math groups) or with an individual student. Usually, they received correct information from the first person they asked and were able to complete work on whatever activity they happened to doing.
As a VERY independent person, asking for help is exceptionally difficult for me. I have learned (usually the hard way) that asking for help doesn’t mean I’m dumb, it means I’m smart enough to recognize that I am probably acquainted with someone else who knows the answer or can show me where to find the answer!