Thursday, December 2, 2010

What is success?

Everyone needs validation.  Everyone needs to feel success.  Right now, I'm struggling to find validation. I'm struggling to find success.  I'm struggling to determine how I can possibly being making a difference.

I've been at the new job for three months.  The honeymoon is over. Not a day has gone by where I haven't learned something new about the job, people, parents, or myself.  I still love the job.  I don't regret making the decision to change jobs.  My ASB kids are meeting the expectations I set, I'm slowly changing the culture of student leadership, I have a great team who are helping me, and I do not miss PE.

All that being said, no longer am I the teacher kids run to for advice.  No longer am I the teacher kids confide in when they need an adult to talk with.  I've been blessed for 15 years with a job that has filled me with joy.  I know I have made a difference in my students lives.  For years, without even realizing it, I've associated my work in guiding kids in making the right choices as success.  However, after defining yourself as the teacher who is that person for students, switching hats is hard!  And it makes me question whether I'm tough enough for this job.

I'm starting to realize that I see the same "type" of kids, day in and day out.  I receive a discipline referral, I call the kid in, listen to their side, and give a consequence.  That's all fine and good.  Until they are back in my office 2 weeks later, for the same thing and haven't made any changes in their behaviors.  WTH?  You really did that again?  You really didn't learn from last time?   I'm really having to give another consequence for the same behavior?  Really?

Now, I'm not naive enough to think I'm going to drastically alter these kids lives after a 10 minute conversation.  I'm not going to change a lifetime of habits, family lifestyles, negative behavior or anything extreme that has shaped this child.  However, I'm a "fixer".  Since I was 16 years old and in Natural Helpers, I have helped other people when they are in need.  I've mastered how to ask questions to find out how to guide someone to discover what they need to make the right choices.  I knew so well what to say to help a kid feel better and empowered to make the right choices, in that moment.  Again, not naive enough to believe they walked away and made the right choices.  But I gave them something to think about.

In this new job?  Well, that just doesn't happen.  Like ever.   And now that I'm not helping...I'm just not feeling successful.  Or very needed.  I don't need to hear that I'm the most loved teacher, believe me.  I don't need to hear that I'm changing the world.  I'm long past needing the ego boost that comes when a student tells you that you are their favorite teacher.  I'm just asking for a little validation that I'm making a difference.  Just a little something to keep me going.

I can't help but ask myself will I find success in this job?  Will I feel validated?   Is my personality better geared towards teaching in a classroom or can I make a difference as an administrator? 

I just don't know.

1 comment:

  1. Braillard- I have learned that there is no job in the whole world that validates us or fulfills me like teaching. It is the hardest lesson I have ever learned. Since I left teaching full time 8 years ago I have struggled with this. I would say that you have to find a little area that you can get that. For me, it is DECA and being the advisor. Find that little place, once a week, once a day that lets you feel as though you are making a difference. You may have to agree to start some seperate club or a monthly meeting something, but people like us, need that. We need good kids that don't tell us today that we made a difference but in 5 years that we do. Although I am a successful realtor, it doesn't fill my heart the way that teaching did. Find your happy place and embrace it!



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