Half a Cup of Blues

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Leadership ...

So I went to a meeting yesterday. It's called the "Leadership Council" and I was asked to represent the teachers and aides by becoming a member of this group a few weeks back and I have felt fairly useless because it always seemed like any ideas that we brought to the meeting would just be shot down by some other meeting of some other group. I was actually ready to go in this week and ask them to pick someone else to participate in this exercise in futility that we called a meeting each week.

As we waited for the principal to arrive we sort of began talking amongst ourselves and clear the air of some frazzled feelings that had been stirred up the week before. It became clear that some of the things we had talked about in our meeting had been presented in another meeting but with some seriously damaging changes that caused someone to feel attacked in the performance of their duties. It made us all feel sick to hear about it directly from the individual and we made a committment to be open and honest and keep all of our agendas on TOP of the table. This is exactly the kind of stuff that has made a job that I loved become more and more difficult with each day. I finally confessed to the group that if morale wasn't better by June then I didn't want to continue working for this agency any longer. I was actually crying by then but it really hurt to hear myself say that when I have been with this company for 15 years and loved my job for most of them. One of the other people in the group admitted that she felt exactly the same.

We ended up clearing so much air and saying how we really felt that we must have been revved up going in to the next phase of the meeting: redesigning our entire school behavior system so that all of the classes will have the same system and the staff won't feel so isolated and unsupported. Our meeting ended up going past the usual 60-90 minutes or so and lasted just over 4 hours. I came out of that meeting feeling more hopeful than I have felt in a very long time. We had another meeting today to introduce our idea to the school and they asked some very good questions, voiced a couple of concerns that I think we answered, and basically really seemed to receive the idea quite well. That's two hopeful days in a row!

We are having a staff BBQ and potluck as soon as the kids leave tomorrow and when the agency heard about it they kicked in and bought steaks and chicken for everyone. The executive director has said that he'll do the grilling for us to show his support. I am thinking that tomorrow might just be day #3 and maybe this will be a new trend!

I really, really want to stay with this company and work with these kids but I know that I have to have some JOY in my work and if backbiting, and undercutting morale issues are draining me of that then I will go somewhere else and work with kids in some other capacity.

Today's Plan: Keep the light of hope burning and find my JOY at work once again.

4 Comments:

  • sounds terrific, Michelle - I hope things follow through!

    By Blogger David, at 2/09/2006 6:40 PM  

  • Michelle! That is excellent. :hug: Based on what you say here and on how difficult I know your work is, I think you're brilliant in what you do. The long meeting sounds like a godsend.

    Do have fun tomorrow. :)

    By Anonymous zip, at 2/09/2006 10:03 PM  

  • Follow your heart and find your way with it. :hug:

    Thank you for being you.

    By Blogger redpig77, at 2/10/2006 10:17 AM  

  • This post reminds me of Lucinda Williams' 'Joy' for no reason I can fathom. :hugs:

    Good luck joy-hunting, Michelle!

    By Blogger Sophie T. Mishap, at 2/13/2006 10:05 AM  

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