Citizen's Advisory Committee for Special Education
I have been a school representative on our local Citizens' Advisory Committee for Special Education for the past five years. For the last three of them, I was (Co-)Vice Chairperson. I said yes because nobody else would. In fact, I was on the Beltway coming back from Children's Hospital while elections were taking place three years ago. When I answered my cell phone, the Chairperson asked if I'd do it, the members voted, and Bob's your uncle, I was Vice Chairperson.
We worked on several tasks those three years, and I'm glad we did. But, oh, the jobs were slow. Painfully slow. Achingly slow. For one reason or another, task force meetings got postponed, or necessary information wasn't obtainable, and the jobs just stretched out. When those few jobs took such a long time, it was hard to focus on new, necessary tasks. I know I felt some frustration that we couldn't move things along a bit.
At last year's elections, I said that I would prefer not to continue as Vice Chairperson for the upcoming year, but if a new Vice Chairperson would feel more comfortable transitioning in as a Co-Vice Chairperson, I would stay on in that role and withdraw at the close of the year; and so it went.
I've been thinking a lot lately about commitment, specifically commitment to doing what I said I'd do (barring a crisis). I heard this adage only recently (thanks to my niece's Facebook status), but it may be familiar to you: There is a big difference between involvement and commitment. Take a ham and egg breakfast: The chicken was involved, but the pig was committed.
I don't think I ever moved past involved with CACSE. I helped the Chairperson, ran the occasional meeting, tried to keep us on the agenda, attended almost every meeting in the past five years, and represented CACSE at various informational events. But I don't think I really worked to further the vision of the group. I just wasn't committed.
When elections were rolling around this year, I followed the plan and transitioned out. I'll still be my school's representative, and I'll still attend most of the CACSE meetings, but I won't be an officer this year. I feel so much relief, which tells me it was the right decision.
I wish all the best to the new officers of CACSE for the 2010-2011 school year. May they further the vision of CACSE the way I never could.