This month’s blog is written by Ceara Alexander, Clinical Supervisor at Chaddock Special Education School. In her spare time Ceara enjoys time with family and friends, traveling, music and movies.
When I get asked what I do for a living or what is my “job”—I typically get “Wow, that must be so hard, I couldn’t do that” or “Good for you.” Since I began my career at Chaddock 12 years ago, I have not once thought I can’t do this or “good for me." I do however get almost nervous when I describe what our agency does because oftentimes the external symptoms – behaviors – observed by those outside of Chaddock can cause misinformed judgments. This makes it difficult for people to understand the necessity of what we do, and why we do what we do, for our children and families.
I feel like our students, clients, and families deserve our services because to me feeling loved, being accepted, having human connection, and feeling like someone is always in your corner isn’t a privilege, it’s a right. I feel fortunate that our agency provides hope and healing to those who may have experienced trauma and disruptions in their attachment relationships and that I can be a small stepping stone in this journey of healing.
Most say it takes a village to raise a family and the same is true for us and the work we do. I couldn’t imagine attempting to try to heal and foster hope along with the intensive therapeutic work we do as one person. The team we have here are some of the most compassionate, passionate, and purpose-driven people I have ever met. When people say—“I could never do that”—well, there is no “I” in team! I couldn’t have found the joy and passion in the work I do if I didn’t have an army of support, encouragement, and knowledge working around me.
Don’t get me wrong, much like any other job, working at Chaddock has its share of downs; difficult interactions, challenging situations, plans, “visions”, and ideas that aren’t my favorite, as well as some of the most emotionally tough days—but the mission and values of our agency keep myself and countless others moving in the right direction and remind us why we were called to serve and provide: because ultimately it’s not about us—it’s about our children and families.
“Working hard for something we do not care about is called stress, working hard for something we love is called passion.” - Simon Sinek.
At Chaddock we are encouraged to recognize our “why”. Why do we show up every day? Why do we work as hard as we do? Why do we continue even after the hardest days? Why do we do what we do?
For each of us it is different, but if you dig deep enough you will find that for our longest-standing staff members all of their whys have something in common; the children and families.
Why do we show up every day? Because our children and families need someone to show up for them consistently. Why do we work as hard as we do? Because we know how hard our children and families work to thrive. Why do we continue even after the hardest days? Because our hardest day is nothing compared to our children’s hardest day. Why do we do what we do? Because it’s not about us, it’s about the children and families.