Tuesday, April 30, 2013

No longer the rookie

Found this gem from last June:

So this was my first full year as a real, live school counselor. What a year it has been...

When we moved here last July, Andrew and I were 2 of the 5 new employees for the county. There are typically many, many more than that and training sessions are held, orientations are given, etc.  Not this year - instead, we were tossed right in and it was a learn-as-you-go experience.  Everything from signing up for health insurance, how to take a sick day, to daily job requirements was left up to us to figure out. Luckily, we're surrounded by wonderfully helpful colleagues who made life a whole lot easier for us. I'd be lost without them, that's for sure.

From day 1, I knew I was going to love the school where I was. I've had some ridiculously difficult days, and some incredibly rewarding ones as well. However, after one year, filled with challenges and breakthroughs, I can still say that I absolutely love my job!

If I had to pick a high point for the year, it would be difficult. I've had so many great moments with these students. One that comes to mind was fairly recent - I was in the classrooms and was having the students complete a "climate survey" about the school for our county. One young man, who I'd seen on several occasions for his anger issues, called me over to his desk and said: "Mrs. Hutcheson, look - all 3 of these questions are about you!"  With fearful trepidation, I looked at the questions. "1. There is an adult at my school who cares about me. 2. There is an adult at my school who I can trust. 3. There is an adult at my school that I feel safe talking to." 

It was all I could do to not get teary-eyed.  If students really do think that about me, then I've done my job.

I can think of two real low points right off the bat. One includes Baker Acting a student. That may have been one of the most difficult decisions I've made to date, accompanied by one of the most sleepless weekends. The other involves me painstakingly and meticulously planning an elaborate event for our students, only to have my carefully laid plans uprooted by my boss' boss - who then blamed me (read: yelled at and berated me) in front of a room full of parents and school board members. I may or may not have used the word "frickin'" in my response to her...because she's the one that caused the chaos in the scheduling, that I, again, had orchestrated perfectly. Not cool.

I know it's only my first year, and while I have several, several white hairs as a result of it, I can tell that this is where I am meant to be.

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