This summer we went to visit a 93 year old relative in Prince Albert. The conversations we had are worth a blog post of its own! So many amazing stories (his memory is astonishing!) from a life well-lived.
But that’s not what this is about.
This is about a McDonald’s coffee stop on our way home. Not the coffee per se, but the cashier.
It was a young man at the till, and he was wearing a button. It said, simply: I’m new and I’m trying.
I told him that I was starting a new role this fall, and that if he was able to get a new button, could I have his to wear?
He shrugged, said “Sure!” and handed it to me.
I wore that button very proudly for my first days at work last week.
I got quite a few laughs, one person that said my subliminal messaging was making them crave fries, and there was one sincere question wondering if I was also manager at McDonald’s now.
It gave me a bit of cover as I was fielding questions and learning all sorts of new tasks. On more than one occasion, I just pointed to the button and smiled.
But it also gave me a chance to remind the people that noticed it, that we are all learners…
…that when you learn something new, you won’t be good at it…that you won’t know everything that you need to know right away…that learning something new requires struggle, vulnerability, and courage.
Or like the meme that passed my timeline today so eloquently said: Be brave enough to suck at something new!
I love learning. I love challenges. I love that learning comes with challenges. But it doesn’t hurt to remind ourselves, and others, that challenges in learning are not only okay, but part of a growth mindset we should try to maintain.
It doesn’t hurt to remind ourselves that we are going to mess up along the way.
That we should grant ourselves some grace when we do, and extend that grace to others when they mess up too.
One thing I always stress to students on the first day is that if you get to the end of the year without having made any mistakes, then you haven’t learned anything, so make a lot of them!
I’m not wearing the button anymore but I’m keeping the lesson in my head and in my heart:
I’m new and I’m trying!
This week, let’s remember that in some way, everyone we encounter is doing the same.
Have a great one!!
Perpetual amateur. Lifelong learner. Vice-Principal. Teacher. Musician. Mom. Annnnd if you're reading this, then I'm still a blogger.