Can it really be a month since I took on my new role?
It seems as if life has been passing me by at warp-speed these last few weeks and I can honestly say that I have woken up some mornings and wondered not only what day of the week it was, but which city I was in, too. If I thought I’d moved fast in the past, the last month has shown me that time waits for no man (or woman).
My more experienced colleagues have been great in getting me up to speed with my confidence and style of delivery to the point that I will be out on my own delivering courses next month. If you’d told me that a few weeks ago, I would have laughed in your face. There was NO WAY that I would be ready in such a short space of time. “Don’t worry,” my colleagues said, “We have faith in you.”
Yeah, thanks for that added bit of pressure, guys…
I delivered my first full session last week and let me tell you now, I have never been quite so terrified in all my life. Perhaps that’s a slight exaggeration, but let’s just say that I didn’t need any prunes to aid my bowel movements that week. Even though I had prepared to the best of my ability, my subconscious kept trying to convince me that everything would fall to pieces and the delegates that I was meant to be teaching would laugh at me. A last-minute case of the jitters almost threatened to make me cry and throw up simultaneously. Cue a much-needed mental smack around the face from my colleague who told me to suck it up and get on with it (but in much nicer language.)
Don’t ask me how I did it, but I managed to get through the whole day without making a complete hash of it. For the most part, the delegates were engaged and receptive to my delivery and even gave me a round of applause when I made it to the end of the session, whether that was due to the fact that they were glad that it was over or the fact that I did okay is undetermined at this point.
Just before I began delivering the session, I did ask myself why a woman as shy and awkward as myself would think it a good idea to apply for a role whereby I would have to stand in front of big groups of people and talk with all eyes on me. I had 22 delegates in my session and every single one of them focused on me as I began.
To put it mildly, I was crapping myself.
After the session was over I realised that I actually felt quite a rush standing in front of a room full of people and relaying my own knowledge and experiences in the social care sector. More than that, I was completely exhausted by the end of the day and had underestimated just how tiring engaging a large group of people can be. My feet hurt from being on them all day and my throat was dry from speaking more than usual, but I made it through and that’s what counts (I hope!)
Not satisfied with studying on the job with my more experienced colleagues, I have also now started my college course in order to get my first teaching qualification. Without giving away my age, let’s just say that it’s been a while since I’ve been in a college environment. Thankfully, there were ten other ‘mature’ students who were in a similar situation to me when I arrived on my first day back at ‘school’.
The course has a good range of students from differing backgrounds, much of our first session dealt with getting to know one another and learning more about the layout of the course. I will be attending college every Friday for the next 10 weeks and after that time I will have my first accredited teaching qualification to my name which will allow me to go onto further studies and obtain a degree which would see me become a fully qualified teacher.
It will be a case of hitting the books and typing up essays over the next couple of months which may affect my ability to post regular Thoughts for Friday posts, but I am hoping that I will be able to keep up with both. If you don’t hear from me for a couple of weeks then you can be pretty sure that I have my nose stuck in a book, desperately trying to get my written assignment handed in on time.
My long-term goal is to become a fully qualified teacher and to be able to work in colleges and universities as a lecturer on the topic of social care. That dream is a long way off yet, but I cannot wait for the day when a student brings me an apple during class. I only hope they won’t be offended when I tell them that I prefer bananas instead…