Happy Wednesday - I had no post ready for today and it wasn't until after our assembly this morning that I knew what this post would entail. But here I am on my lunch break - trying to avoid the table of chocolate and goodies in the staff room.
Today is the last day with students before winter break and all the staff and students are SO READY for 2 weeks off. But with that said it's moments like I had this morning - as I was tearing up in our assembly - that I am SO thankful for my job, the students we are lucky enough to work with each day and our incredible group of staff members. {I had guest posted part of this post on my friend Jenny's blog but it went with how I was feeling today so if you read Jenny's blog you may have already read part of this.}

It's not that often I blog about work but it's a huge part of ME. I work for a private school for students on the autism spectrum (and those with similar learning styles) and I am proud to say that I truly love going to work each day. It doesn't bring in the big bucks but it fills my heart more than any other job could. {The only thing that could make it perfect is if Cruz could hang out with my in my office all day!}
I was never one of those people who growing up knew exactly what they wanted to be. At one point I longed to be a vet but after a couple years volunteering in our local vet office, sitting in on a few surgeries and helping out with a dog who had an encounter with a porcupine - I soon learned it was not for me.
 Then once I entered high school I found a classroom that changed me and instantly I knew what I wanted to be. It was a classroom within our high school full of amazing people that had varying disabilities. I spent a lot of time in that classroom - I would visit at lunch, instead of taking spares I took "special project" to work within the class and even while in college I did practicums there - it was definitely my favorite "class" in high school.
Despite these students having a disability, they were by far the happiest students in the school and their energy and personalities just drew you in.
I went on to get a degree in Community Rehabilitation & Disability Studies (that's a mouthful!) and have spent the last 15 years working with mainly kids and teens with some sort of disability.
(Justin and I took this little guy to the Wiggles concert)
When people find out what I do, most people say something like "oh it takes a special person to do that" or "you must have a lot of patience"... sure - I do think it takes the RIGHT person to work in my field but I think it takes the right person for any job - I clearly could never be a vet, teach Spanish like Jolie, be a land man like my brother or do all the confusing stuff that Justin does on a computer. But I do believe I am perfect for MY job and I have the qualities I need to support those I work with and the families we support. I enjoy the day to day challenges it brings and the way I see it, the amazing moments definitely out weigh the rough days. 
I laugh every day. I am enlightened every day. I am reminded of how lucky I am every day and the best part is - I know at the end of each day that we are making a difference in not only the lives of our students but their families too. And that to me is priceless.
The VERY best part is: often my job becomes more than just a job. These people become family. They came to our wedding, they have sleep overs, spend weeks with us, have their own room in our home, they add Cruz to their blessings each night, we have family dinners with them - we would move mountains for these people and I can honestly say I am so grateful for what my job has taught me, given me and continues to teach me on a daily basis.
 So back to the point of this our assembly today our Senior class took turns reading a part of a story aloud to the rest of the school. These student have a hard time making eye contact and talking to one person at a time let alone presenting and reading in front of a group - but with the support of our staff members they did this little struggle. It's the little things. I know for a regular high school student this is easy peasy but for ours (and us!) this is huge. And I know I wasn't the only one hiding a tear or two!
So like they say - choose a job you love and you'll never work a day in your life...I am thankful that for me, for the most part, this is true.

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Rachel and John said...

Aw yay! I'm so happy you have a job you love!

Katie said...

i loved this post and love hearing about your job. what a blessing you are to those students and are clearly made for that job. what an impact you are having in their lives. you are wonderful!

Lindsey (a running tale) said...

Aww I love this post. You have truly found your calling and that is something few people can say. I know you have made a huge difference in many kids lives and you should be very proud for that.

Tennille said...

I love how much you love your job!

Jessica said...

I love you for doing what you do. You're an amazing person! <3

Jamie said...

This is fantastic. Those children are lucky to have you.

Ashley said...

I am glad that you work with these children!! They are very blessed to have you in thier lives!!

I used to want to be a vet too!! I also had no calling in highschool for what I wanted to be - ended up taking law first, then decided medical was more my thing - I wanted to help people. It is hard to find people that are compassionate about thier jobs!!


Laurie @ The Rookie Wife said...

Sometimes having a job you love is much better then going to one you hate. No matter how much money you make!

Britt said...

What an amazing accomplishment! My mom teaches 3rd grade and I am always hearing about her students with special needs. You are such an inspiration and truly giving them a better life. You are more fulfilled with your job than money- I wish more people had that mentality. I think the world would be a happier place.

Leigh said...

I think you are amazing and so lucky to have found a job that you absolutely love! :)

Kae Schumacher said...

This is amazing post! That is great that you go to a job that you love everyday!

RachelSteck said...

Wow, that is amazing! You are blessed to have such a wonderful job that you love. You're an even bigger sweetheart than I thought.

Whit said...

I think it's amazing to have found something SO well suited and so perfectly matched!! You definitely were made to work with children. I love hearing the history of how you got to the career you have!! xox

Janna Renee said...

We all know you have the biggest and most beautiful heart in the world, so that job is PERFECT for you. Yes, it might take extra patience, but we should ALL find it in our hearts to have that kind of patience and compassion in our lives. It's what makes us human.

Murdock's mama said...

This is one of my all time favorite posts of yours! You are such an awesome person! I just hope we can meet someday! LOVE following all aspects of your life!