by Shanniel Shakespeare, B.Sc. Social Work
I look at my shoes worn, holes and all, and I am amazed at my journey. I have travelled for five years, and my journey is almost at an end. Two more weeks have passed on my practicum site, and I am getting there. I am almost at the point where I am comfortable in my own skin, with my colleagues, with the people who come to me for assistance!! Isn’t that something? God has been good to me!
I look at shoes, worn out and ugly, and I smile!! Shoes symbolic of progress, and I am proud of the immense growth I’ve experienced. I astonish myself sometimes at how I quickly acclimate to a new task after hearing instructions once. One thing I love about this experience is the opportunity my supervisor has given me to "feel out" each aspect of the job. I have worked with children in our institutions, and I was also given the chance to work with Adoption and Supervision Order (S.O) cases. So far, it has been super awesome, but it wouldn’t be a true report if I did not reveal that the paperwork is immense and sometimes overwhelming. Progress is a must, so I refuse to let z paper defeat me!
I look at shoes that walk me into newness of thinking. I look at shoes that hold my feet as I step into an exciting future. I am excited by the support and words of affirmation that my coworkers speak into my life. The colleagues to whom I am assigned have been very consistent in mentoring me and modeling the skills and competencies I will need to do my job effectively.
I look at shoes and I venture into the unknown; nervously-confident, anxiously-secure. The last two weeks were a buzz of activity. I was assigned my new cases, and in one day we did three (3) School Visits and four (4) Home Visits. Then we made it back to the office to prepare for a Child Care and Protection Act (CCPA) Quiz that our office was spearheading. It is exciting the immense wealth of knowledge that I am gaining and the new forms I’ve been exposed including but not limited to the Special Assistance Request Form and Form of Irrevocable consent.
I am walking past my fear and nervousness. I smile as my shoes filled with holes strain out the anxiety I feel when I am about to enter a counseling session. Shoes filled with holes strain out intimidation I feel when I talk to my supervisor or a colleague and I smile!!! I must admit that over the last two weeks I have surprised myself as to how much I have grown. I marvel at how composed I now am when I talk to a client, I make little jokes, listen attentively, and offer my suggestions.
I step into my God-given Potential. One of my learning goals was to say yes to the opportunities that arise for me to display my talent and creativity, and I have done just that. I said yes when my supervisor invited me to do a presentation in Clarendon. I said yes when I was asked to do devotion at the CCPA Quiz. I said yes when I was asked to do devotions, a song, and my dub poem at the parenting seminar put on by the agency. I said YES and it felt so good, and as a result, I have resolved to continue doing so.
And so the trod continues...2013 and beyond!!!
Shanniel Shakespeare is a Spoken Word Artiste/Dub Poet. She is also a Child and Youth Advocate. She has a first degree in social work from Northern Caribbean University. She also is committed to using her God-given talents, creativity, and potential to empower young people to live passionate lives.