Teaching Children How to Ask for Help

Social Emotional Learning covers many topics and skills, including growth mindset, emotional order, setting goals, managing self + environment, increasing students’ hope, and much more. In this post, we will be discussing a skill that is the foundation of social-emotional learning, growth, and goal setting. HOW TO HELP PROMOTE ASKING FOR HELP

Asking for help can be difficult for both adults and students alike. Sometimes the simple ability to admit that you may need help can be hard. The truth is EVERYONE will need help at one point or another. This lifelong skill will not only help educators and students in the classroom but it is a skill that will be carried through life. 

Everyone needs help, so why is it so hard to ask for it?

What gets in the way of asking for help:

  • don’t believe asking for help will make a difference
  • prefer to do things themselves 
  • may be embarrassed or ashamed
  • view asking for help as a sign of weakness

As adults and educators we set the tone and are an example to students on whether seeking help is ok. It is important that we make sure we send a positive message about asking for help

How to empower children to ask for help:

  1. Normalize asking for help:

This means you must also accept that you may need help at times as well. View asking for help as a normal part of life and an important life skill. Be open with students about times you have struggled and asked for help. 

  1. Asking for help is a strength: 

Make sure to frame asking for help as a strength and acknowledge that it takes courage. 

  1. Give alternative ways to ask for help

Some students may be introverted, shy, or just not yet comfortable asking for help verbally or directly. Create tools in your classroom that encourage students to share when they struggle. 

  1. All questions are good question

Make sure to respond positively when a student asks for help. It is important that when a student asks for help you give them your undivided attention. If this isn’t possible at a particular time, set a time when you can do so. 

  1. Ask for professional help

As you promote asking for help within your classroom make sure to refer students who may need more in-depth help to a more appropriate source. When you feel out of your element or not qualified, seek professional help. 

All of these tools are great ways to create an environment that promotes asking for help. This in conjunction with promoting emotional intelligence can make a world of difference to a child. The My Best Me curriculum helps promote many skills needed to have a growth mindset and a healthy relationship with success and failure. If we are able to realize that failure is part of the success we can help children realize that asking for help can be part of success as well.

How to Connect with Students

Connecting with students has many great benefits. A positive student-teacher relationship promotes academic success, helps avoid negative behaviors, and promotes self-worth and good mental health. Studies have found that integrating social-emotional learning in the classroom has benefits for both students and adults that work with them.

3 strategies to connect with students

  1. Be Authentic- Create opportunities for students to share things about themselves, their likes, talents, dislikes, etc. The important thing when creating these activities and discussions is that you as the educator participate and allow your students to get to know you as well.

    Examples and ideas:
    • self-portraits: have children draw themselves and write down facts about themselves. Where were they born, how many people are there in their family, what is their favorite subject and why, favorite color, pets, etc. (Free printable)
    • What makes a great classroom board: together come up with what makes up a great classroom, have everyone decorate the board, and say one thing they feel would make the classroom amazing. 
    • Two truths and one lie: games are always a great way to break the ice, have fun and get to know each other.
    • Goal Setting: help your students set a goal and break down the steps that need to be taken in order to achieve that goal. This is a great way for you as the teacher to see what is important to your students and help them achieve that goal for themselves. (check in on these goals mid-year and again at the end of the year)(Free printable)

Being authentic also means you continue to learn and this means being able to admit when something didn’t work well even as the educator. Showing that starting over, regrouping and asking for help does not equal failure but rather it shows the ability to adapt and grow.

  1. Make yourself available- This one can be tricky for teachers because you not only need to make yourself available but also need to create boundaries so that you have time to recharge throughout the day. You can do this by setting specific times in which students can come for help or to discuss something. This can be in the morning before school, after school, and/or during lunchtime. 
  1. Be a Champion– Celebrate with your class. This can be as simple as attending a soccer game where many of your students are playing and/or attending. This is a great opportunity to cheer them on and build connections outside the classroom and connect with families. Celebrate not only the obvious success but celebrate growth and effort as well. Being a champion for your students means being seen as an adult that authentically cares about your student’s success and about them as individuals.
How to connect with students: Be authentic, be available, be a champion.

Hope Surpasses Resilience as Burnout Predictor

In the past, resilience has been used as the main predictor for educator burnout – but not anymore. Our studies have shown that measuring individual and collective Hope levels is more accurate at predicting educator burnout.

Hope vs. Resilience

If Resilience and Hope are used as measurements, we need to understand their definitions and see how they differ.

Our Definition of Hope: the belief that tomorrow will be better than today, and that you have the power to make it so.

The Definition of Resilience: the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties.

Already, we have a vastly different quality of life from these two definitions. While Hope provides a positive outlook on the future and a path for accomplishing that betterment, resilience simply states that recovery is possible if one has the capacity. Thus, resilience is only for those who already have a high capacity for it. We know that hardship reduces one’s ability to deal with stress and adversity without the proper strategies. Without Hope. So why would we lean on resilience as a predictor of burnout when it can diminish so quickly?

The Problem with Resilience

There is still something admirable in dealing well with crisis and returning relatively quickly to a pre-crisis state, like a rubber band. But, the more times rubber bands are stretched and returned to their pre-stretch state, the more likely that band will become less resilient over time and less likely to return to its ‘before’ condition. One teacher’s resilience today may be very different next year or even next month, and that difference will usually decline.

Resilience focuses on moving backward, to dealing with times of crisis so that we can return to our pre-crisis state. Moving backward doesn’t help anyone, especially if their pre-crisis state does not buffer from incoming crisis.

Not only is resilience likely to decline over time, but it puts an emphasis on trying to maintain a pattern, not change and improve it. We often discuss how creating new, healthier patterns through Hope work changes children’s lives, but what about teachers’ lives?

The Benefit of Hope

When you experience a crisis, Hope offers a way to improve your post-crisis circumstances. Resilience only sends you back to your pre-crisis circumstances.

Hope moves us forward. We have the power to make our tomorrow better than today, and certainly better than the yesterday resilience seems so fond of. Unlike resilience, Hope is more likely to stay steady or grow over time so if a teacher has measured hope levels, it is far easier to predict their risk for burnout.

The less Hope a teacher has, the more likely they will burn out. Even if a teacher starts as being highly resilient, that may not last. Our studies found that Hope acts as a buffer to crisis and adversity while resilience is only a way to hold out through the stress while still experiencing it full force, making the measurement less reliable over time.

Steadily improving one’s own circumstances builds upon itself. The longer a teacher has Hope, the more they will gain because it builds up, unlike resilience which takes away from itself. Over time, this makes Hope a much more reliable predictor.

Hope Reduces Turnover

The biggest indicator of teacher burnout is individual Hope, but the most significant school turnover predictor is collective Hope. If teachers have a hope community built in their school and feel collectively hopeful and supported by their school, they are far less likely to burn out. Reduced educator burnout also reduces staff turnover, creating a better place to work and learn.

Building a Hope Community Starts with You

Teachers, counselors, and school staff create Hope communities in their schools. My Best Me helps students with individual hope and helps teachers and schools with collective hope communities.

If your school isn’t using My Best Me yet, we would love to help you bring Hope to your school. Our sales team is ready to answer your questions and demo My Best Me for you. Contact us to start spreading Hope in your school.

Work Life Balance for Teachers

Work/Life Balance as an Educator

“You don’t get harmony when everyone sings the same note.”

Doug Floyd

Harmony is beautiful because it includes many notes

Teachers, your day to day life is demanding!  It’s time to take a look at how you can juggle all the balls of home life and school life without having them crash down on you.

But first, let’s establish the “why” – why is having this work/life balance so important?

There are many things that clamor for your attention from the time you get up in the morning to the time you lie down at night. How can you get it all done? This is where the balance is essential. You want to meet the needs of those around you, but need a plan to make it happen so that you down feel the burden.

A sense of harmony is just around the corner, but where do you start?


Make a basic schedule to keep you on track. Of course, each day is different, but a basic plan gives the guideline. Decide how much time the day-to-day tasks require. Be sure and set a regular bedtime.  Setting a bedtime for your own children helps them perform better at school. Likewise, setting a bedtime for yourself will make you more effective throughout your day. Late night grading papers without proper sleep will make you sluggish and unable to effectively meet all the demands coming your way the next day.


Make a basic list outline of what is most important to you. For instance, family, health, classroom, outside meetings, etc. You give so much to your classroom children. Make sure they aren’t getting more of you than your own spouse or family at home. It’s okay to say no to some things; and if you have set the boundaries, you will keep the big picture at the forefront.


You can’t do it all all the time. When you are feeling bogged down, back away from the chaos and look at the objective. You’ll find that there are things you can let go of without compromising the end goal.

Each of your students need you at your best. You wouldn’t think of investing $100,000 or more on building a house without having a plan. But your worth is far greater. Make a plan. This will take some effort in the beginning, but you’ll have a head start at getting to a place of experiencing harmony.

Hope Rising SEL brings hope to classrooms and students through the world’s first hope-certified emotional intelligence curriculum, My Best Me.