Dissing the Director

I'm in my third week, now, of my new part-time job at the school for autistic kids.

And I love it.

In all of the years that I worked at the Quaker school, the one thing that bothered me was I was well aware that by and large the school was for [mostly white] people of privilege, people of wealth. Students with multiple Coach handbags. Boys and girls with demanding, entitled parents. Kids who were all preparing for college, and we aren't talking community college but competitive, costly schools. And  that bothered me. I felt somehow that because the students were -- for the most part -- wealthy, the work I did was less important. I don't know how my mind made that connection, and I am pretty sure that it is an erroneous connection, but that's how I felt. I used to think that if I did the same job at an inner city school where families were struggling, it would be more meaningful.

The school where I now spend my mornings could not be more different from the Quaker school in almost every way. These students won't go to college; they aren't rich, and their parents certainly do not have any kind of an air of entitlement.

The work I do is varied and not particularly challenging. I send bills to the various districts who utilize the school for their difficult kids. I laminate teaching aids and cut out laminated objects and apply velcro pieces so kiddos can match colors or objects. I answer the phone and the door. I file, deliver messages, make copies, and order supplies. I do anything I am able to do that will free up a teacher or an administrator to spend more time with the kids. I laugh every day.

This morning one of the teachers gave me a headzup that she was going to send Michael to the office to ask me to make a copy. When he came in, I was concentrating on the bill I was trying to prepare. The School Director saw him and wanted to know what he needed. Something jogged my memory and I went out to the space where Michael was and his little face lit up and with a huge smile he exclaimed, "Oh, THERE you are!" He handed me the paper with the post-it note requesting a copy. I made the copy and we had a little chat about doing things to be helpful. Then off he went, back to his classroom. And the Director grinned and said, "Boy, did I feel dissed!"


Pat said…
A little diss and a little datt never hurt anyone. You are in the right place.
LizA. said…
I'd say you definitely made the right decision -- so glad to hear it's working out for you.
Janet O. said…
I loved this story, Nancy! Very cute. : )
Quiltdivajulie said…
Yes!!!!! Validation and so much more . . . Yes, yes, YES!!
Barbara Anne said…
Yes, THERE you are, right where you're meant to be!!!

Susan said…
The first thing I learned as a new teacher is that the secretary is the one who really runs the school! So glad you are enjoying this position.
Patty Nordahl said…
Love it that you are where you belong.
My son moved to Georgia for a job at a Christian church and school. When I was worrying about him and would he get lonely for this place where he had lived his life he said those words to me. "Mom I am where I belong" are some of the sweetest words I have ever heard.