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Friday, April 01, 2016

Building Team: Lessons from the Kickball Field

In an effort to build better team, we planned a fair game of kickball. I dressed for the game, and I thought I had anticipated all the potential issues, but an important issue arose and we had to end the game. Students and I discussed the issue and we made some decisions about how to play better next time. So we'll try again on Monday.

A lot of good came out of this game however.

First, students who are reluctant to play these playground games, joined in and had fun.

Next, our Open Circle that followed the game was much better as students were very invested in how the Open Circle focus matched the game issue. I think I'll start to match the use of a team game to Open Circle as it seems like a great partnership.

Finally, the game reawakened in me the fact that students have a tremendous desire to work and play with one another. Young children are mostly relationship driven--they mainly want to be parts of wonderful teams that work and play together.

Every year, at this time of year, the need to quiet it down and focus on team more happens. I've talked to a number of teachers this week at my school and elsewhere who have noted that need. This is due, in part, to the better weather which creates a desire for greater play, upcoming test stress and efforts, and end-of-year events and transitions. And as I've mentioned so often, every year it comes as a surprise when it occurs. We're rolling along and then there's an event that awakens this.

Kickball will help us this year to build that team and smooth the path to the year's end. Onward.