The Casting Dock

the pros and cons on the job front.

A quick update on my life as an elementary guidance counselor (BEST. JOB. EVER.):

Let’s start with…

THE PROS:

* I HAVE A JOB! For the rest of the year anyway.
The maternity leave position that I originally accepted back in March 2011 had run its course and I was about to get booted out of my fabulous elementary school come January. Enter valiant principal to the rescue! My principal advocated VERY strongly for me and the district creatively found a way to keep me by tacking on another guidance counselor position at a different elementary school. So I repeat: I HAVE A JOB THROUGH JUNE!

* With a job comes a paycheck! MAJOR pro in this here scenario.

* I am SO SO SO thankful to continue building experience throughout the year. VERY beneficial when I resume the job search in the fall.

*I would have gone stir crazy after about 3 days of unemployment. Once I’m bored, basically every area of my life suffers. So my husband is especially thankful for this one, I’m sure.

* Since this is a new position, my schedule is still being sorted out and my workload has been light so my days are significantly shorter than they were at my old job. Like 4 hours a day shorter. So that’s a lot of extra life-living time. And just a nice work-life balance. I like balance.

* A JOB! A PAYCHECK! MORE EXPERIENCE IN A FIELD I LOVE!!

* The kids and staff at my old school sent me off with sooooo much love and appreciation! I seriously have HUNDREDS of kid-drawn cards and letters (the best kind!) which I will showcase on here sometime.

THE CONS:

* Between students and staff, I have over 600 new names and faces to learn. Whew…it can be a tad overwhelming.

* I LOVE LOVE LOVED my old school and miss my kids (and the staff!) terribly! Seriously, on my first day at my new job I felt like a mother who was dropping off her kids at daycare for the first time. I just kept looking at the clock thinking about which groups I had at that time and wondering how the kids were doing. It is A-MA-ZING how quickly you get attached to those little munchkins.

* I had built a really strong relationship with one little boy in particular and I knew my departure would be especially difficult on him. Poor little thing already has legit attachment issues. Add me to the list of adults who abandoned him. Seriously breaks my heart.

* It takes a lot of time and energy to learn not only all of the new people, but all of the dynamics of a new place, the real culture and vibe of the joint. And then not only to learn it, but to learn how to assimilate into it so that you build the trust and respect of the staff while maintaining boundaries. I had found that balance at my old school. It took a little while, but I felt like I had the trust and respect of the teachers, even those couple pockets of tricky ones. It’s just hard to muster the energy to re-learn all those things in a new setting when I loved my old setting so much.

As dramatic as it sounds, I just feel a sense of loss. Everything about my old school fit me, my personality, and my strengths well. I worked especially well with the school psychologist (we were the “guidance team”) and principal, built strong relationships with the teachers, and connected big time with those 450 little faces. LOVE those little faces. It was a lot of work and evolved into routine 12 hour days, but I loved being a part of that place.

I know I’ll get there with my new school. Honestly, kids are awesome anywhere you go. So vibrant and trusting and honest. It will just take time. And I’m okay with that.

This is week two in the new school and it’s time I funnel my mental and emotional energy away from the old and into the new. I am so incredibly appreciative (and flattered!) that the district found a way to keep me and now that my “week of sadness and mourning” is over, I’m ready to dive back in with enthusiasm and see what the new year and new school will bring.

4 comments

1 Mama Logan { 01.20.12 at 7:29 am }

Thanks for the update! You have been on my mind and in my prayers for the past three weeks – knowing the changes would be big – also knowing you would triumph over anything that came your way. So proud of you!

2 Lindsey { 01.21.12 at 10:22 am }

Wow…that’s gotta be a tough transition. That’s great that they were able to keep you in the district (that is very flattering!) but I’m sure it’s challenging to switch schools mid-year. :( Good luck embracing the NEW!

3 Lisa { 01.28.12 at 9:16 am }

Thanks ladies! I’m starting to settle in a little more. I am getting to know the kids and my schedule will soon pick up A LOT so that will be good! SOOO grateful for the job itself!

4 Noche { 01.29.12 at 9:17 pm }

Ditto Mama Logan…so PROUD of my Pumpkin and all her hard work helping all those tiny tots.
Change is hard, but you will be fine…just give it some time.

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