I’ve been hearing whispers about a report that came out regarding the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School. When that happened, like so many others, I couldn’t stop thinking about the fallout from that tragedy. Even with all of its darkness, that story elicited one of the few times the news brought me to tears. Not once or twice, but every time it came on TV. I pictured my own kids, and all of my babies at the schools I was serving, and could not imagine what the families were going through in loss, students experience in shock, and staff felt in their hearts.
I have started reading some of the report on the treatment measures that had been taken with Adam Lanza in his short lifetime. It is astonishing, and an insanely stark reminder about the importance of what we do in our counseling and educational professions.
We throw around the word “accountability” in goals, classes, presentations, and statements. But for the first time, I am realizing the true magnitude of what that means. We can examine a million points of data and give thousands of surveys every week, but at the end of the day, the acts of Adam Lanza represent the true nature of what we are capable of in this powerful profession. Not that the weight of the world should be put on the shoulders of one or two professionals or agencies- that is equally dangerous- but how different might every life be if students were not touched, changed, influenced, or inspired by the people at their schools.
The capacity of our potential for change stands for both good and bad results that have occurred in the past and will continue in the future. I am extremely proud to be a School Counselor. I have seen awesome change and development in students, and have also let a few hands go in hopes that the students might allow success for themselves at a later age. But for the first time, the notion of “accountability” is a wonderful thing for me. It is a loaded word now that means, on one hand, we have the position to allow a student to realize their worth and become confident adults despite grudging circumstances. On the other hand, it means we can play a part in something as horrendous as the Sandy Hook tragedy.
The tricky part is that we will never know how many tragedies we have helped to prevent. This being, it is important to have faith and be confident in our skills and abilities. Holding ourselves accountable, we have to be honest about feelings of complacency. For all of our hard work, there is no shame in admitting when we are having a dark day, or have little strength to smile wide and show patience.
What a huge learning experience. I will definitely be rolling this one over in my head for some time.