We just had our final faculty meeting of the year . An integral part of today’s meeting was providing staff appreciations or what I call as “shout outs”. As staff from Preschool - 8th grade began providing their shoutouts I began to think about who I was thankful for and why I was thankful for them. In the midst of me processing my own thoughts , administrators and teachers of all grades began to shout me out! Although I was fully aware of the work I put into my role this year , I wasn’t sure if people would acknowledge the accomplishments of the only black girl in the room . Plus, I’m not the best at receiving compliments so I was somewhat startled to hear several people praising my name. Though startled , I received the compliments and praise fully and I believed what was said. Truthfully , I gave myself a shoutout too, (in my head of course) because I kicked ass this year , exceeded my goals and stepped out of my comfort zone . This year was the first year my school had a position for a “School Counselor”. Though this was exciting to be the “first” it was also anxiety provoking because I knew the responsibility and pressures that came with a new role and a new position . I was aware that this new work environment would be different from any other work environment I’ve experienced. Initially, I was quite apprehensive to start this journey . In my previous roles as a school counselor or outpatient therapist , I worked in a diverse environment that catered to children and families of color from impoverished neighborhoods . This new environment I would be working with was a completely different population; student , family and staff wise. I would now be serving affluent white children and families and working aside a predominantly white staff, with a few staff of color, two native Spanish women and me- the only black woman. Though I’m used to being the minority in a leadership role and have experienced being the minority student when I attended private school growing up , this felt different. It felt different because I’ve always had at least one other black or afro-Latino working with me , to eat lunch with, vent to, bond over cultural similarities like music, food and hair but this time I was alone. I didn’t fear being alone but discomfort did exist . I was crossing over from one side of the train tracks to the other. I was fully equipped and prepared, but still alone. However , I couldn’t let my discomfort dissuade or discourage me. I knew that accepting this position was a part of God’s plan. I had to be uncomfortable in order to grow. When meeting with my Boss back in September , she informed me that it was my job to not only create my role but also develop an effective social emotional curriculum that would cater to children ages 2.9-13. I had never done this before , but I was ready, at least that’s what I told myself. I constantly reminded myself that “ to whom much is given , much is required” so I showed up everyday with a positive attitude and eager to exceed my expectations and the expectations of others , I had no choice but to do this. Fast forward to today and I have exceeded the goals that I set out for myself at the start of the school year and most importantly I ended the school year leaving a last impression of love , integrity, strong work ethic , flexibility, leadership , accountability , team work , and the ability to connect with all . I’d be remiss if I tried to take all the credit for achieving this . Aside from my personal achievements, a few pretty dope Co-workers and a Boss who trusted my vision and leadership skills entirely , God deserves the biggest shout out today ! Putting God at the forefront of all that I do is the reason why I’m able to take on tasks that seem bigger than my plans and visions. Through the ups and downs , trials and tribulations , doubts and discomfort , he made a way. So I had to pave the way. For him, I am forever grateful and committed to being his faithful servant .
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