A few days ago Tory, a student teacher in Arizona, wrote about helping out other teachers on her blog The Education of Miss Waggoner. She wrote about the "extra" work teachers have to do during the day and because she isn't teaching the entire day yet, she had the opportunity to help out her colleagues. She even mentioned how glad she was to be there to give these teachers an extra hand because from her perspective "it would have taken a lot longer for those teachers to get their work done had I not been there."
I'm really proud of Tory. I'm proud that she 1. recognizes there's much work to get done, 2. understands we can hardly fit in all the work that needs to be done with the given hands and time, 3. that she recognizes help is necessary, and 4. that she offers help to her colleagues.
Yesterday I realized I had to be gone from work today. When I realized my student teacher was coming with me, we both stayed to write lesson plans for the day. I knew I had to summon Amy's help not only to save myself some time, but also to help her understand the process of what elements need to be present for the substitute to be somewhat successful.
While I created handouts for the students, wrote out the lesson plan, and wrote a personal letter to my substitute, Amy made copies, stapled and hole-punched the papers, wrote the agenda on the board, straightened the room and organized the desk for the substitute. It took the two of us over two full hours--or 140 minutes--to prepare for a substitute to teach 240 minutes.
And this is why I go to school when I'm sick. :)