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Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Building Teams Contributes to Strong Schools

There's lots of opportunity in schools to build strong teams. When that opportunity is overlooked, potential is lost.

In what ways can we build the kinds of teams that truly impact good work and success?

First, I think that efforts to support and nurture strong subject area and grade level teams is very important. When a team of teachers serve children, it's likely that the service will be better than when it's only one teacher with a lot of students. Good, strong teams bring their best ideas, efforts, talents, and skill together to serve students well.

To build those strong teams, it's important to know the team members well. Who makes up the team? What do they bring to the table? What do they need in order to do their best work and develop? What does the team need to flourish and grow too. It's important for those charged with supporting and developing strong teams, make the time to know individuals and the team well. If you don't know the players, it will be difficult to coach the team.

It's also important for teams to use strategic process to continually spiral the curriculum making it better and better and more and more targeted so that all children are taught well. Time for share should be well organized including an agenda shared well in advance and clear protocols for the share. Everyone should come to the meeting knowing what to expect and leave the meeting a bit more elevated and energized than when they came. If there's no need to meet, then meetings should be cancelled. Information that can be shared via an email or note, should be shared that way thus saving meetings for the deep and meaningful share that truly makes a difference when it comes to teaching well.

Good teams profit from sharing the good news. It's not bragging to identify and tell about good practice--people need to feel comfortable talking about projects, pedagogy, and activities that inspire and elevate their students. To hear about each others' perspectives, trials, and triumphs is to grow as a team with solid, positive collective practice. When share like that doesn't happen, the potential for stagnation exists, and stagnation does not support optimal teams.

Teams no matter whether they are teams of students, educators, administrators, parents, or a mix of any and all groups profit from strategic focus and attention. There are good ways to grow team, ways that elevate the members of those teams, and this is an important consideration closely tied to the work it takes to build and forward dynamic schools too.