It’s a typical Friday night and my wife comes home from work. When asked about her day, she replied that she had 50-11 things she still needed to do at school. Yesterday, she and I went to her school and did the 50-11 things…. together.

Note: 50-11 is a term used by great grandparents to describe a lot of something and often times is an infinite unknown number. Sometimes it’s pronounced “fiddy-leben.”

The wife and I laughed as we listened to comedians, danced as we listened to some classic songs and discussed which songs are considered hits on YouTube. As I cut out laminated pictures and helped prepped centers for her, I realized how important it is to have someone in your corner to help you.

The last minute meetings, dozens of assessments students must have, the new initiatives that sometimes spring up on you, the prep work that feels like you’re finally caught up (or ahead) only to feel behind a few days later, the multiple ways of assessing, grading and transferring them into grade books, the early days to get to the copier first, the late days trying to use the copier when no one else is, the paper jams, purchasing materials for xyz because of whatever reasons, and more, life as an educator can be brutal sometimes.

Even the most organized educator can feel overwhelmed and could use some help sometimes. Don’t feel like you are alone in this. There are many ways to lighten your load just a little.

  1. One school has parent volunteers who help out in the copy room. They sign up for 30 minute blocks throughout the month. Inside of the work room, teachers place what they would like copied in their teacher folders.
  2. One classroom had the same idea and asked for parent volunteers. They had four parents over the month that could help out.
  3. One teacher reached out to the local college. There were education majors needing observation hours and joined in the fun.
  4. One teacher asked his friends to join in on a Saturday. He had a cookout (grill and all) right outside of his room while they worked together.
  5. One teacher asked her friends to join her at her house on a Friday night. They had wine, caught up and just hung out throughout the night. By the end of the night, everything was complete.
  6. One teacher asked people from the central office if they knew someone that could help her overwhelmed (entry year) colleague. The central office staff came and helped her and the superintendent popped in just to give encouragement.
  7. One teacher reached out to his friends on social media and asked them to sign up for a few slots throughout the week. By the end of the week, the teacher felt caught up and prepared.

My wife had about four hours worth of work to do but we finished in under two hours and she thanked me for helping her to prep for the next three weeks. Althea Gibson once said, “No matter what you accomplish, someone helped you.” But, if you never reach out to ask, you won’t know if they are able to help.



Leave a Reply