Break the yo-yo

We’ve all been there…the fantastic moment after a workshop, training or some variety of professional learning and you are inspired. You can’t wait to take it back to your school or classroom. You are intrigued and want to learn more. The new ideas swim in your head and the passion for learning is sparked.

But then life happens, and the excitement fades. You return to your busy schedule. When new ideas are brought to colleagues peer pressure can develop to maintain the status quo and not ‘rock the boat’. Time and energy are always at a premium so a change can feel overwhelming, especially without support from others. The new idea goes by the wayside for a variety of reasons and the learning is for naught. Sigh…I wish I could say this hasn’t happened to me, but I shall not tell a lie.

The other night my husband picked up a yo-yo that belongs to our boys. He started to use it without realizing it was broken. He sent the yo-yo down and once it reached the bottom – it fell apart. Rather than swallowing up the string on the return trip and recoiling into his hand, the sides and string from the yo-yo came falling to the ground.

broken yoyo

At that moment I made a connection. We need to be cautious that our professional learning does not become a yo-yo. I was very guilty of this – getting excited about learning something new but retreating into old habits once back in my classroom. The yo-yo goes out, the growth happens, and then we pull back into the comfort zone without applying the new learning. The movement forward is stopped and we regress.

Let’s break the yo-yo.

Break it so we can move forward as educators. Break it so learning doesn’t stagnate. Break it so that our kids experience new things and new ideas. Break it so the growth mindset we need to model is loud and clear. Break it so our passion as teachers becomes their passion as students.

…and I’m keeping the broken yo-yo as a reminder.