If Your Job Robs Your Hope, Try This

By Erin Harris | Posted on 05.28.2015 | 0 comments
If Your Job Robs Your Hope, Try This
I'm about to share something that might sound familiar to you—whether you work with kids or adults, and in any setting where working with the people in your care is tough. This may speak to you about your own experiences, or it may speak to you about challenges your colleagues face. In either case, I’ll also tell you how you can get certified in skills to make life easier for yourself and everyone around you.
Last week a friend of mine, who’s been a teacher for 12 years, posted on Facebook that he’s leaving education and going back to school to become a licensed professional counselor.
He says he wants to switch from working with kids to working with adults, because (brace yourself—this really sucks) his years in education have derailed his hope for helping kids.
He feels like he can’t communicate with his students, can’t get through to them, and he’s thinking that while adults will be hard to reach too, most of them will have more rationality than kids.
I guess this mostly stems from his recent work in a small individualized special ed room.
Every time I’ve seen him over the past couple years he’s been burnt out, saying stuff like, “I can’t stop the chair throwing, the punching, the kicking, the screaming, the violent meltdowns. I get hurt. The kids hurt themselves. They hurt each other. I have to call for help. There’s never any time for learning. Their parents hurt them, or other students hurt them, or the system hurts them, and I can’t control any of it.”
Now this is a guy who has patience and ability running through his veins. He embodies skill, having learned the basics of teaching in college, having gotten two master’s degrees, having been through dozens of professional development courses over the years, and having a natural skill at being calm, cool, and collected and solving problems.
It’s hard to imagine him not being able to manage a classroom, so I know he’s dealing with serious business.
So when he announced his career change, this is what echoed in my head:
“CPI covers everything that we’re dealing with.”
That’s what a social worker named Angie Smith says in this video:
My friend’s announcement made me think two things:
  1. “CPI covers everything that we’re dealing with.”
  2. CPI is what my friend needs—whether he stays in education or moves to mental health.
Caring for a living is hard
I think about this stuff a lot—anytime I talk to a teacher, a social worker, a dementia caregiver, a cop. Some have it easier than others, but no one has it easy—working with vulnerable people is beyond difficult.
But it’s a vocation that caring, giving people like my friend are meant for.
And caring, giving people like Angie Smith.
I keep thinking of the video with Angie because she describes dealing with behaviors a lot like what my friend deals with. Different setting, but similar stuff.
The BIG difference is that Angie feels like she handles tough situations well.
My friend, however, feels like he completely lacks the tools—the tools to dig himself out of a dark, twisting tunnel filled with dead ends, muddy water, and danger every way he turns.
But the tools that Angie has are ones that every care professional should have. Tools to handle upset behavior, prevent it from escalating to violence, avert risk, reduce injury, get back to the task at hand—in a way that keeps her safe, and those around her safe, and makes her love her job.
Tunnels are easier when you don’t navigate them alone
My goal in writing this post is to show you that even if your path is difficult like my friend’s, or your colleagues’ paths are difficult like my friend’s, there’s no question:
You’re in the right place.
Another goal is to offer you some company.
We have a huge, passionate group that’s gathering together at our Instructors’ Conference in July. The Conference is bringing caring, giving professionals (like you!) together to enhance their skills at solving big, scary, tough problems at work.
They work in foster care, centers for young adults with autism, group homes for adults with developmental disabilities, they drive school buses, they serve as directors of nursing in emergency departments, they work in security . . .
They do a ton of different things, but this all boils down to one thing for you:
You’ll meet people who do what you do

You'll meet people who face challenges like yours. People who will have specific ideas for handling specific problems that come up in your work.
You’ll also get to hang out with about 50 of my colleagues—trainers who train trainers (we call ‘em Global Professional Instructors) and pros who drive our mission to help you help others. They’ll be there to teach you skills, answer your questions, and help you troubleshoot your issues.
The focus of Conference is Nonviolent Crisis Intervention® training—what Angie has and what I believe my friend needs.
The training teaches practical, effective verbal and nonverbal de-escalation strategies to safely manage difficult behavior.
And you can get certified to teach the skills to your colleagues.
This can, as you can imagine, do very helpful things for you at work. Not to mention the people you work with—both your colleagues and the people in your care.
If you’re ready to join us, you need to do it soon because spots are filling up
Conference Week can be the Ultimate CPI Intro Week, where you learn ten tons. Because even beyond all you'll learn in training on July 19–22, there’s a massive amount of sessions to choose from—sessions on dealing with anger, domestic violence, passive-aggressive behavior, power struggles, bullying, burnout.
Sessions on training like a pro, analyzing staff needs, using eLearning tech, mentoring other staff.
Sessions on change management, debriefing, reducing the use of restraint, limiting risk and liability.
And I haven’t even mentioned the Lunch n’ Learns, the advanced course tasters, or the fact that this is all taking place in beautiful and historic New Orleans.
I know that if you want to feel more like Angie and less like my friend, you probably want this training.
And I know that your ability to join us probably depends on budget. “Can we make it happen this year?”
But if this is the right time and the right fit for you, we would love to see you there.

Here's the link with all the details about Conference:
Register to Become a CPI Certified Instructor

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