I really cannot tell you how much I hate being “the new guy” at anything.
No seriously, I can’t. I don’t even consciously know myself, apparently…
As part of my certificate in Education Support I have to do at least 10 hours of volunteer work as a Teacher’s Aide. Of course I decided to do it at my daughter’s school, to keep things simple.
What I should have done was go straight to the front office and ask who to speak to and tee things up that way. What I actually did was dither and freak out for a bit, then get one of my friends who is also doing the course to introduce me to the lady she organised things with.
Sweet! No fronting up to people I don’t really know on my own and describing what I needed to do when I had no idea what sort of script to follow (sure, I’d figure it out and they could no doubt fill in any gaps, but the anticipation of looking like a yammering idiot is a real mental block, yaknow?).
It all seemed to be progressing well, until I turned up yesterday like I said I would and my liaison had the day off.
The other ladies in her office explained that I really needed to speak to the Assistant Principal, and took me along to meet him. I’m sure my liaison would’ve done that too, but I still felt kind of foolish for not double checking exactly who I needed to talk to.
The AP is a friendly, jovial kind of guy who confused me with two other people at first before he worked out we’d never met before. He then checked that I’d given them my letter of enrolment like I should’ve.
No problems. I just needed to get it to him ASAP so he could sign off on all the paperwork and I can get credit for my hours. Anyway, he was assigning me to the class next door to my daughter and took me off to meet the teacher right then and there.
So I had to walk past the windows of my daughter’s class (distracting a bunch of the kids in there) and interrupt another class in progress so he could introduce me to that room full of kids and arrange for me to meet up with the teacher later that day to work out when I’d be coming in to help. Why he had to do that in front of the class is beyond me, but that’s what happened.
I think I managed to come across as warm and friendly rather than shell-shocked and in need of a brown paper bag.
Long story short, everything’s sorted; everyone was friendly and excited to have an extra helper; I’m excited to get stuck into helping kids enjoy learning; some of the kids have already started waving to me in the playground; I got my paperwork in. It’s all good. It’s all fine.
I just wish I could get through all the introductory stuff with more grace.
Rationally I know full well that everyone struggles with these sorts of nerves to some extent, and nobody’s going to actually think I’m an idiot for not knowing EVERYTHING, ALL AT ONCE! And in all honesty, I handled things pretty well in the moment, asking questions, clarifying things, ensuring I’m across everything I need to know.
Truth be told, I was quite happy overall and felt good about having my work experience locked in. Another thing to check off my To-Do List! Phew!
But then early this morning I had the most intense dream I’ve had in ages, where I had a full-blown, sobbing, shaking, uncontrollable panic attack.
Like, I’ve never experienced anything like that in real life. My brain just saved up all that social anxiety and stress to sucker punch me right in the subconscious. POW!
On one hand I’m grateful I’ve never dealt with anything like that during waking hours, but on the other hand I’m now annoyingly drowsy after feeling so refreshed the last few days.
Just another irksome quirk in the show that is Meg’s Brain, I guess…