I believe I have been presented with the test I was warned about yesterday morning.
While at work yesterday I received emails from a person who was brought in to take over the work of someone who had not done their job correctly. Rumor is that she is kind of a workhorse and uber control freak. Anyway, the email was questioning my current and past activity in a realm of education that I am not trained or knowledgeable in. Her emails were not rude but were very forceful and I felt personally singled out and made wrong.
It had been a good day despite not getting enough sleep the night before and so the emails were a bit left field and unexpected. Come to find out I am now expected to do additional paperwork and who knows what other expectations I will hear about today. I also suspect a meeting at some point based upon this woman’s past and her present position(s) in the company.
If you have been following my blog then you know I recently considered leaving this part-time job for various reasons, the main reason being the special education component that seems ever-growing as the days and weeks pass. This particular email and resulting “expectations” are part of this ever-growing problem.
In my 10+ (lost count now really) years in education I have always hated the special education system, the paperwork, never-ending meetings, loop holes, favoritism, politics, etc that go with it. I believe it is a system that actually does a disservice to those in it rather than helping them, which is its primary intention. Additionally, the system, which was once avoided like the plague by parents who feared the label following their kids through life, has now become a sought-after program by parents wanting their children to get “special” attention even when their kid could manage without it.
Without going into more examples and ranting (which does no one any good really), I will say that I have determined the “system” – both the special education system and the education system as a whole – is a lost cause overrun by bureaucracy and politics. The system has lost its way. Education is not fun, it is tedious and wrought with booby traps. I feel for our future students as this system is doomed to failure.
I believe that this situation has been presented to me once again so that I can inspect it in more detail. On one hand I have a the strong, life-long goal of helping others, specifically those who cannot help themselves (the children in this case). On the other hand I have a similarly strong dislike for a bureaucratic system which puts money, politics and paperwork in front of the needs of those it is serving.
Often in this life I have come up against similar decisions. I mush weigh the potential positive outcomes with the potential negatives. Ultimately I must ask myself, “Is it worth it?”
One might think this decision easy, but for me it is not. My desire to help is quite strong. I enjoy working with students in the capacity that I am. I just do not enjoy the never-ending hoops I must jump through in order to do this. These barriers are why I did not continue to pursue my LPC. Too many laws, tests, and other accountability measures that I was/am not willing to deal with. I can understand having some accountability – fine – but when it becomes a hindrance to my work then I am in no way supportive of it.
I am blessed to be at a point in my life to have the financial security to leave my job. It is quite a relief to know that I do not need the money and can move on without issue. However, I still balk at the idea of leaving. Why is that? What is so difficult about making this choice? Is it the consideration that I will have “failed”? Is it the loyalty to the students who I help? Or is there something still left to be done?
In the past I have held on for longer than needed, hoping for some sign or some situation that forces a decision. Is this the “wrong” way? I wonder. I spent 7 years of my career waiting and ended up in such an awful place that I suffered from insomnia, depression and a near mental breakdown. I do not want to go through that again. I do not want to wait until my job is unbearable to leave it. But when to leave? Now when the signs suggest more problems will come? Or later, when the problems are upon me?
I don’t want to be a coward and I don’t want to mess up. I think, ultimately, that is why I stay even when I feel I should leave.
Speaking of “signs”, this morning as I was dosing, I was brought to full awareness by very bright red and blue flashing lights – the lights of a police car. When I saw them I acknowledged the message. But what does it mean? Is it just a reflection of my consideration of this decision? Or is it that help is on the way?
When I see the lights I think I am in trouble. That is my first assumption in general. I mean, how do you feel when you are driving and all of a sudden you see those lights behind you? I am filled with a deep sense of dread and anxiety. I immediately wonder what I did wrong and assume I am in trouble. Even knowing this is not always the case – police are here to hep (my ex was in law enforcement!) – I worry. This is not always the case, but most of the time it is and I get a ticket.
So what to do? Stay or go? Sigh.