I am not a person who sings Christmas carols all year long. I am a traditionalist that believes these favored songs have a season that runs from the day after Thanksgiving till night of Christmas, much to my daughter’s disappointment. However, I find myself thinking of this song now….
As a therapist, it seems to me, that this is the most wonderful time of the year professionally. It is not due to the fact that my senses are on high summer alert, although let’s be honest I know exactly how many school days are left. But rather, I appreciate this time of the year for the growth that is seen in my students. As I am busily filling out the scores to the Woodcock Johnson, creating annual reports, looking at testing results, preparing for parent meetings, I am constantly reminded of just how much my students have grown this year.
There are times when I am frustrated at the lack of growth, I perceive is happening. Moments when it is down right hard to see the forest through the trees. Especially with some of my more “special” students, I question if I am making an impact at all or just slowly driving myself insane with the help of this student. However, at this time of year, regardless if the sessions have been successful or frustrating, show the fruits of the labor put into them. It is this time of year, where I can see that I am actually making a difference in these student’s life and academic career.
An especially treasured time is when I get to sit with the parents and share results and a unique understanding of their child. How fulfilling it is to show them that their time, energy, efforts, and money have not been in vain, but are in fact well spent resources. This is a great opportunity to remind them that even the smallest of accomplishments need to be celebrated, for they are accomplishments and improvements that will help their child for a lifetime. The small and large celebrations, then naturally open the door for the recommendation to continue in therapy should the child need it. Most meetings end with a joint feeling of support and renewed commitment to work as a team to support this particular child and student.
Am I looking forward to summer ~ you better believe it! But I am also savoring this time. The time is quickly approaching where I will get a break from the personalities that are infused within my students. I can take a breath and reevaluate what goals need to be set for next year. But this time when numbers are swimming in my head, is to be treasured. When I see actual proof, my faith is renewed in where I have been called for a profession. This is the time, that I need to celebrate the smallest of successes and change. I get to remind myself with confidence that the stress, sweat, and prayers were not in vain. The changes seen in each of my students bring me a peace of heart and mind to launch me into a relaxing and rejuvenating summer.