It's a new year, a new term and, for some people, a new team! With hectic timetables and barely any time to stop and catch up with your colleagues, it can be very difficult to work as a team, especially if you are a brand new one with different ideas.
So, we thought we would ask teachers which practices they do in school are the most helpful in team building. You probably already implement some of these in your school as standard.
Here are the practices that our teachers love best:
1. Find your common ground
Taking the time to establish your common ground and shared goals is key in pulling together - this part is best done at the beginning of the year, the term, or when you first start working together as a new team. Why not start with this handy list of things to establish together:
- Why are we all here? What do we want to achieve?
- Why do you all do what you do every day?
- What will success look like?
Think about what all your work is trying to achieve and don’t be afraid to really look into the detail here.
- How are we going to achieve this success?
This is where you can get creative and start forming actionable ideas, inspiring the team towards a common goal.
2. Utilise each other’s skills and input
It’s really common practice to organise observations of each other’s teaching, but our teachers also cited conducting joint lessons as a great way to nurture a team. Apart from the obvious benefit of working in collaboration with each other, you then also have the opportunity to jointly evaluate methods and, together, aim towards defining best practice. You’ll share your own expertise as well as learn from all your colleagues.
3. Share resources
Look at other people’s resources. Use them and edit them; a good pre-made resource is a huge time-saver but can still be moulded to fit your classroom objectives. Be inspired by them.
Similarly, share. It can be really hard to give away your carefully designed resources, especially if you know they will be edited to fit different objectives. But our teachers suggest that you should try instead to be chuffed that your resource inspired your colleague enough for them to use it.
Knowledge and ideas are best shared. Set up a file sharing account (such as DropBox or Google Drive) and get everyone sharing! Not only will this improve and inform your practice, but you will be getting additional support from your team and supporting others without really thinking about it.
4. Be kind
Look after each other’s wellbeing. We all know what it is like to feel stressed, unwell or under the weather in such a fast-paced and demanding environment. Be understanding and supportive of each other, and you will feel supported in return. Get advice and helpful resources about school staff wellbeing from the wonderful School Well.
5. Overcome the time struggle to provide yourselves with purely creative time
Team meetings, peer-to-peer evaluation, sharing resources… all wonderful and powerful means of team sharing. But just sometimes, nothing works like some purely creative team time to have fun and get imaginative in your work! Plus, ideas will be even better once they have been bounced around the room a few times.
What does your team do to achieve greatness? Let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org