Gradually seeking the wisdom.
Well. It was bound to happen sooner or later. There was just no avoiding it. Last week I had to make my first big decision as a part of my job.
Now, I haven't exactly been wandering around like a programmed robot up until this point. I have made the odd judgement call here and there - probably even on a daily basis, but this is the first time that I was charged with choosing a course of action that would invite potential scrutiny and impact a student's future.
Making any big decision is tough, but especially when you know that about fifty percent of those whose guidance is most important to you don't agree with your initial opinion. By the end of Thursday afternoon, I had spent so much time defending my ideas to my colleagues (whom I value and respect) that I was really beginning to question myself, and yet my convictions just would not go away. As I headed home that night, I was completely torn in two.
So, I did what any normal person would do. I brooded about it. I drank therapeutic teas and ate excessive amounts of chocolate. I cried. And of course, I talked about it some more.
By Friday I'd worked myself into such a ball of anxiety about it, and yet, deep down I knew what I had to do. I had to stick to my guns. I had to rely on what I know to be some of my best skills - my good judgement of character, my ability to set prejudice aside and consider multiple perspectives, and most of all, my consistent devotion to acting as an advocate for those who cannot always advocate for themselves - the one thing that has always been a part of any job that I have ever taken and one of my true passions in life.
So I fought the good fight. All of Friday, up until the very last minute of the very last lesson. I worked incredibly hard not only to make a decision that was informed and fair, but also to do so in a timely manner, so as to convey a sense of understanding and respect to the individual about whom the decision was being made.
Today I confirmed that decision - finalizing the details with student and parents. Reviewing conditions and reaffirming obligation. Whether the decision was the right one or not remains to be seen, and there is all the chance in the world that it was the wrong one.
Maybe you'd like this story to have an ending of happy success, but that's not what this is. This isn't a story about going against the grain and fighting all the odds and coming out the victor. Life's not really like that all of the time.
This is just a story of going into something, something new, something challenging, and coming out the other side. Something changed? Someone different? I'm not even sure yet. Sometimes change is rapid and surprising, but most of the time it is too slow to see, except that one day you lift your head and look around you and everything is different.