10.21.2008

School Psyching or School Sinking?

My second year as a school psychologist has been much more difficult than my first. I've been told that this is because, by the time you reach your second year, you finally are on-the-ball enough to know what you're doing wrong. Ignorance is bliss, I suppose. Overall, I think that I'm pretty good at my job. I'm fairly organized, I get my paperwork done on time, and for the most part, I think kids like spending time on my. The things that's been difficult during my second year has been the overwhelming realization that there is no magic bullet to fix kids' problems, no matter how hard I look for it.

Of course, I've always known this and have been told this a million times. All through grad school and my internship and even through my first year as a school psychologist, I was able to maintain the mindset that, if I was there and providing a positive, trusting relationship, I was helping. Now, though, I feel like I'm needing to provide these kids with some concrete solutions in a field and a society where everything is so nebulous. These kids are carrying some pretty heavy loads and sometimes it's really painful not to know what to do or say to help them find ways to cope. It gets stressful.

Don't get me wrong--there are so many things about my job that I love. I love working with high school kids. They're funny, interesting, and insightful. They make me think and make me smile, at least most days. On really stressful days, though, especially the days when I'm hit by the realization that my professional mistakes could have serious (shall I say dire?) consequences, I find myself wondering if ignorance really is bliss. Would I be less stressed out if I were a secretary or a landscaper? I would be great at those jobs and, at the end of the day, if I were to have misfiled a document or overpruned a hedge, I wouldn't beat myself up about it.

Ah, the drama...

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