The other day I posted about my impending transfer and why I chose to take it. You can read it here.
Here is the other side of the issue:
I have a week or so and then I start my new position. I'm looking forward to it...but at the same time I am feeling sad for what I am losing.
The students I have now are great. Some I have been instrumental in teaching them to talk. From no words to complete sentences. Pushing and prodding each word and sound-encouraging parents to incorporate repetition of new skills with their children. Soothing weary parents who just don't know why their kid doesn't talk-afraid their child never will. Ignoring the looks of disbelief when I tell them things will happen. Keep going. Keep working. I can see progress even if they can't. Loving the looks when they finally believe me. Those students-the ones I have invested so much thought into-are the ones I will miss the most. Of course, there are the 3 little girls (in separate schools) who all hug me as soon as they see me. Their eyes light up. They say, "Miss Lisa I missed you!" There is the shy boy who changed preschools and when I went to his new school the absolute relief in his eyes at seeing a familiar person brought tears to my eyes. These are the moments I treasure.
Their parents are also great. They are involved with their children. They follow through with my suggestions. They get it. They are friendly. Every single one of them has my home phone number and can call me anytime. They are as much a part of their child's progress as I am-and they know it.
I have a good reputation among my preschools and families. Teachers have no trouble talking to me, listening to my suggestions and allowing me freely in their classrooms. In fact, there are several preschools that don't allow "others" in during special days (1st days of school, parties, etc.) but they trust that I will blend into the wallpaper-and not single out a child or have the child miss anything. For me, special events are prime times to observe progress. I have parents choose preschools because they know I will work with their child if they attend this one versus that one. I have had phone calls out-of-the-blue because a new family was referred by an old family and they want to know how to get me to see their child. I have one parent who moved to another county and drove her child (an hours drive) twice a week for 6 months until her house sold (and she could no longer claim my county as residence) so she could have therapy with me. It's nice to be liked. It's ego building and when I am having a bad day I don't have to look far to find something to remind me that I will win over a difficult parent, find "the key" to this child or to just trust that I am providing the appropriate therapy even though I feel "stuck" or inadequate in the moment. (fyi-I in no way think I am perfect...or even great. I'm running on instinct much of the time. I have my weak areas-the things I would do differently if I could. I'm a good therapist who cares and enjoys learning-so I keep up with therapy techniques and pay to attend conferences to better my skills-something many of my coworkers just don't do. Right now I am trying to figure out how to attend a very expensive training-I'll eventually do it--some how, some way.)
I will miss the freedom an itinerant position gives. Right now, I can go the long way to my next site, windows down, sun streaming in. (ok-maybe not right now-but in warm weather I can). I can run quick errand that is on the way. In the summer, I have a reduced caseload because kids are on vacation. I know where there is wiggle room in my schedule-if I am running late in the morning?-No problem. I will catch up. This is especially handy when a doctors appt runs over-or I need to leave a few minutes early.
I can't believe I am giving this all up....That I voluntarily want another challenge.
But I am...and I do.
It is more about me being the best therapist in the end that I can be-and to be that I have to challenge myself. I enjoy learning. I enjoy challenges. I enjoy mastering a particular problem.
This position will bring kids with more challenges. Different ones. Challenging ones.
I thrive on this.
Remind me of this when I am overwhelmed in a couple weeks....