Today is my 2 year anniversary of starting my grown-up big-girl job! (click here to see my office in my post from last year...I wish it was still that clean!) I remember being so nervous and excited about starting my new career. And now I can't imagine working anywhere else. Like with most jobs it has ups and downs (like last week when I wanted to pull my hair out) but overall I do consider myself pretty luck to be here. I love the people I work with (well, most of them!) and enjoy my interactions with students (well, not always, but most of the time!).
Now that I have been here for 2 years I am no longer the new kid. Others have been hired, some have left. Changes have been made. Most things have stayed the same. I'm at the point now where I feel I fit in. I've established myself. I've asked for more responsibility. I've been trusted with important projects. And I've complained a lot....probably more than I should. I've laughed with co-workers. I've cried with my students. I've had students yell at me and lie to me. I've had students run in to my office to share exciting news. I've supported them through failed classes, bad grades, unsupportive families, feeling embarrassed in class, thinking about dropping out, loosing a parent, having a baby, getting married, feeling homesick, getting caught cheating on a test, being dismissed from school, trying to find a job and so many more. And I still have a lot to learn.
I don't always feel appreciated in the work I do....my job is often very thankless....but I'm learning to be okay with that. The other day I received a hand written thank you note from a student thanking me for listening to her and helping her figure out some stuff. It really made me smile. Not many people (especially busy students) take the time to hand write a letter and send it in the mail. Small actions like hers make me realize that even though I may not always feel like it, my work is helping make a difference in someone's educational experience...my work matters. And that makes all the grief and stress totally worth it.