Monday, September 15, 2008

Perfect Moment Monday

My job is so emotionally draining, yet the opportunity for reward is tenfold, especially this year. Normally a School Psychologist's primary function is to assess students for special education services (diagnosing learning disabilities, autism, emotional disturbance, etc.). But my particular position (started 2 weeks ago) calls for a huge caseload of counseling and providing general guidance for students diagnosed with Emotional Disturbance at the high school.

My perfect moment was today, when I had that golden slice of pure reward. I have an open door policy with my kids and one of the students I see came by and asked to speak to me. Many of these kids come from fragmented and dysfunctional backgrounds and this boy was no exception. After knowing him for just two weeks, I realized that he was already comfortable enough to slide into the seat across from me and unload everything without hesitation. He confessed what was troubling him and after some discussion, we formulated a plan together. He was so relieved to have someone understand that the wound up boy who walked through the door was then smiling, nodding, and thanking me.

While my situation as a child was a much more stable one in comparison, this boy and I share commonalities in some of the problems we've faced nevertheless. He doesn't know exactly why I understand him so well as I don't share personal information with my students, but I do. I remember that at his age, I longed to speak with someone who would understand my situation, perhaps someone who had been in it, but not knowing where to find that, I turned to a journal instead. Luckily, I was able to weather it without too much intervention, but helping this boy many years later is almost therapeutic for me as well. I can't think of a more perfect moment in my career when it becomes starkly clear that all of the exhaustion, heartache, and hard work I put into the job is beyond worth it.

9 comments:

Nikki said...

What joy to make that difference in a child's life! Your description itself sounds so rewarding, I'm sure the experience must definitely have been more so.

To touch a life and make it even slightly better - there's nothing more satisfying than that I think.

Lori said...

"He was so relieved to have someone understand that the wound up boy who walked through the door was then smiling, nodding, and thanking me."

What a gift you gave each other. I think your willingness and ability to listen, really listen makes you a terrific counselor.

Lost in Space said...

What a gift. Your job sounds so rewarding and fulfilling. I am sure your students think the world of you. Nice job. (:

luna said...

I agree what a wonderful gift that is to give. I'm sure it can be draining, but I hope fulfulling too when you get through to someone.

a lot of our friends are teachers, and one in particular has this amazing rapport with his HS students. it's as if no one else has ever truly listened to these kids for who they are...

I Believe in Miracles said...

What a beautiful gift you just gave.

MamaSoon said...

How wonderful! These moments aren't always present but they leave quite an impression on us. Beautiful post.

Murgdan said...

It's so great to know what you're doing is making a difference...sad we don't get these kinds of moments more often...but just having them every once in awhile is enough to keep me going.

Another Dreamer said...

I just saw your new layout! Nice. I liked the old newspaper thing, but I am really liking the new layout too.

I love the story. Glad you can help that boy. I too resorted to journaling when I was younger because I had no one to talk to. I'm so glad you can be that someone for him.

Hope2morrow said...

I hope this same understanding comes into play for all of us once we finally have our babies too!