It’s the end of the first marking period, and it is obvious by the kid’s attitudes and behavior. Some days (like last Friday) they are fantastic and I want to take every one of them home with me because I am so proud, and then others they act like I’m poking them with pins and needles whenever I request they pay attention or try to teach them something simple.
Like I have told you before, I really do love my job and find it extremely rewarding regardless of the frustration I am feeling right now, but working in alternative education, is NOT where I envisioned I would be if you had asked me in college my career goals.
So yesterday, after one of those days feeling like I wanted to rip my hair out, I was recapping all my woes to Ryan and he looked at me and said…
“Doesn’t any of this sound vaguely familiar?”
I stopped to think.
I was describing one of the girls I have had for a pretty long time, and last week I was excited to tell her she had the chance to go back to general population at the high school; an ambition she has had pretty much since I have known her.
Unfortunately she did not follow through with one of the requirements, after being reminded pretty frequently that it was pertinent to her graduation from my program.
She cried and made a ton of excuses why she hasn’t completed the task, and of course I felt horrible standing there telling her she would just be with us for one more marking period.
As I got to this part in the story, Ryan again looked at me with eyes like, “you are totally missing the point I was trying to make…”
So then I paused again. What the heck was he insinuating?!
I continued to explain how much she wanted to be back in high school, how things would be better for her there, she would be successful, she wanted to go to college, yada, yada, yada.
Then I explained to Ryan how I couldn’t handle standing there watching her melt-down because I just wanted her to have a better life and I know CLIIP is holding her back from reaching her potential, and that if only there was something I could do to make her want it more, work harder…
Oh snap. I stopped nearly mid-thought.
She was ME!
I had all these goals and the opportunity to reach them, but I would always make excuses or take the lazy way out! Ryan was ME now, wanting to help this girl but she just didn’t want to receive it.
I literally had everything in place to do well; support, a plan how to achieve health, objectives to meet, but I just kept getting stuck, making excuse after excuse, and thinking one day, all my half-ass attempts might just add up to a completed journey.
The truth is, it doesn’t work that way; not for my student, and not for me.
As Vince Lombardi once said and I think I have actually used this quote on here before, “The only time success comes before work is in the dictionary.”
And that is one hundred percent true.
It takes dedication, work and a lot of ambition to get to where you want to be. And although I may not be doing exactly what I set out for in college, or have the career I always thought I would, God certainly had a plan for me, and that included working with kids that would help show me my faults, and the way to a better life.
Sometimes things don’t always work out as we plan, or a bump comes in the road and these are the things that essentially make us who we are.
Do I want to be the girl who had so much potential, or the one who made it through a challenge and came out on top?
I think we can all guess which one I’m choosing.
Are you a believer of the sayings;
1. Everything happens for a reason?
2. What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger?