Everyday the sun rises, bringing with it new opportunities; offering us the chance to try something different, work smarter, work harder, get it right… and then it sets, bringing closure…
Today I needed to remind myself of this.
We all have high’s and lows in our day-to-day working life. The roller coaster of an EA though, this is a whole new existence. When I entered into this world I figured there would be good and bad days, of course, but the extremes leave me speechless.
A bad day as an EA can hurt. Words filled with anger and pain often hurled at us, occasionally the dreaded “I hate you.” Or a physical lashing, attempting to support them through it while avoiding fists of fury or frenzied feet, or worse, feeling the brunt of it. Heartbreaking. And not for the hurt within myself, but from the pain in their eyes, knowing that their emotions have taken over, unable to control them. They hate it as much as I do. Helpless, incapable of stopping, so the storm rages on. Innocent eyes, burdened by life. Together we ride the coaster, waiting for the ride to slow, awaiting that gasp of reprieve…
Lower the expectations, dial it back, seek out the connection.
We scramble. Offering the world to regain the calm, a break outside, perhaps a snack, or maybe a game? A beloved toy? Crafting a recipe that sets them up for success. After a storm, the library is my favourite place to regroup, and regain their trust. A peaceful space blanketed by quiet, surrounded by stories that call to us. A much needed reading break. Or perhaps a puzzle. I recall a time that puzzles were the ignition source for one of my students. But it couldn’t go on this way. We needed to work through their difficult feelings of who gets to finish the puzzle, and it needed to be done one on one, with gentle guidance. So we set off to the library, a puzzle in hand, and the final piece concealed in my pocket. As we worked closer I prepared myself, until finally it happened, we arrived at our finale. Together we “discovered” the last piece, both excited and eager to complete the picture. But here, the decision became simple… This student suggested that I take the final piece. A seemingly simple gesture. For them though, only a few hours ago it was the fuel that fed the fire, the anger that turned our class upside-down. Here though, one on one, I was offered the last piece… and I hold back the tears. I cannot describe the pride I feel when the kiddo I’m working with “gets” it, and makes an extraordinary gesture outside of what we thought was possible for them.
This is the life of an education assistant. The highs sit atop Everest, and the lows drag us through the trenches… Yet, everyday I am thankful for the opportunity to do what I do.
Isn’t that life though? Sometimes just buckling down and weathering the storm, other times we ride the wave. In all walks of life we need to remember this. We all make decisions were not proud of, we all react to situations in ways we wish we hadn’t, we all fall guilty to the “I wish I had…” This is human. Don’t beat yourself up about it though, take the lesson, learn from it, and grow. Allow bad decisions, a bad moment, or an all around terrible day to set with the sun, and offer yourself the opportunity to try again with each and every glorious day!
YOUR TURN! What does this mean to you? What situations have you endured? What growth and learning can you take from it? You can comment below, send me a message in the Contact section, or email me directly at email@example.com.
I look forward to hearing from you 🙂
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