My job formally started just this Monday, May 29, 2017 even though I still haven’t signed my contract yet. Just like any newbie at work, I feel awkward trying to fit in and adapt to my new working environment. Everyone familiar with me knows that I am very bad at remembering names—a habit that is getting me lately because I need to remember an additional of 20+ names in my head from the administrative staff downstairs to the whole faculty team ASAP. To cope up with this, I stand in front of their organizational chart and try to memorize their faces and names so as to avoid awkward conversations where I need to ask who they are.

I am trying my best to adapt and know my new colleagues. I really want to talk to them but I don’t want them to see me as very pushy or feeling close. Surely I am not expecting for things to warm up in the proceeding days but hopefully that day will soon arrive where I and my fellow new-comers will have wholehearted conversations and laughs with the established faculty members without the awkwardness to do so. To start things, I am trying my best to help and collaborate with a math teacher on making a courseware that emphasizes the 3R’s. (Currently, we are undergoing training where we are bombarded with acronyms like that and 5S and 6C.) That training is lead by my superiors who are excellent and very progressive with their visions for the future of the school and its students. The principal, specifically, is incredibly wise with his actions and words.

Yesterday, our dean asked me to take other subject loads. He asked me several times but being the pessimist that I am, I respectfully refused to take them even though because that subject is a bit off from my major field (although I’ve had units of it) and I fear that I will be ineffective teaching it. I was very ridden with guilt the whole night and just this afternoon, I discreetly told it to the principal while we were having a conversation. He straight up lectured me on why I should not be fearful and full of doubts and also why I should’ve had taken the units because that will benefit not only my students but also and primarily myself in the long run. Convinced I was not. The more proper and greater term would be enlightened. I was trained in a very discipline-centered and rigid way but I need to change that fast because the workplace where I am now is incredibly dynamic and progressive.

Things will fall into place someday but for now, I am just like a puzzle piece who’s finding his slot in a huge, almost-complete puzzle board. Do you have a similar experience?