Top Tips for Teams

I {Natalie} had a very fun and pretty unique experience last week. 

My entire 5th grade team got together and headed to St. George for the weekend.
{For those wondering, St. George is about a 4 hour drive south from where I live/teach.}

Now I've been on some good teams before, and I've been on some not-so-good-teams before, but this year I was on an AMAZING team! Although we do vary in age, we all got along together so well. We loved collaborating, we enjoyed hanging out together before and after school, and we genuinely liked and appreciated each other.

One of our teammates recently bought a summer vacation home in St. George, Utah and invited us all down for a little team retreat. We had a great time swimming in her pool, going out to eat, staying up late, and doing lots of shopping. Needless to say, it was the *perfect* way to start our summer break!
(Read more about our trip HERE or HERE.)

Since this trip, I've been reflecting on what exactly made our team so great, and how six people with different personalities could get along so well with one another. 

Tip #1 - Get to know your team & love them.
Find out their strengths.
Get to know their personalities.
Ask about past life experiences that make them who they are today.
Love despite differences in teaching styles and beliefs.
Put aside differences, and develop a genuine love for each other.
Forgive when needed.

Tip #2 - Collaborate & be team players.
Show up to collaboration with a happy attitude.
Assume good intentions from teammates.
Step up and take on extra responsibilities when needed.
Help teammates with projects they're working on.
Be positive with each other.

Tip #3 - Have fun together.
Chat about fun things going on.
Hang out outside of school occasionally.
Try not to take everything too seriously.
Celebrate birthdays and other special occasions.

What other tips do you have for teams?
What qualities do you look for in a teammate?
What do you and your teammates do to have fun?


Andrea Ho said...

What a fun little trip you guys took! With my team, we go to Rock Bottom (a restaurant/bar) for happy hour every couple of months after work.

Cheers To School

meesabelle said...

Thank you for sharing this! This is one topic I haven't seen before and I think it is a very important piece for well-rounded teaching. I've been part of a team for two years and before that I was in the middle school with no team. It does make for a different dynamic if a team gets along or not. Thanks for sharing!

First Grade Frame of Mind

Kayla said...

Thanks for sharing this! I am going to pass this on to my team, so we can have our best year yet!

Susan Tutorow said...

When I was on the first grade team, the four of us went to Las Vegas for spring break. We had a great time.

Grade School Suzy

Jennifer Laffin said...

You share some very thoughtful insights into what makes a team work so well. Thanks for sharing!

Mrs. Laffin's Laughings

Third Grade Galore said...

I'm a part of an awesome team as well. It works because everyone shares ideas and we help each other out so often. It's understood that we teach differently, but are willing to try new things. What do we do for fun? Go out to lunch on Fridays.

Third Grade Galore

Ashley said...

That is a wonderful idea to go on a vacay with your team. I too, loved my fourth grade team this past year! They are such wonderful women to work with.

Kirsten said...

How fun! This year I am on a fabulous team! I am so excited! We've already started getting together to plan for next year :)
Mrs. Wilson's Class

Julie Holzenthal said...

I've been on great teams & horrible teams and the one thing that I can say is to accept new people! Welcome them... It makes or breaks that team! Another thing is set a few traditions! The best team I was ever on had traditions that were passed down for years & even though we didn't always agree, following these little traditions kept us unified and made us more like family.

Right Down the Middle said...

I loved reading this post! I hope to take these tips back to my colleagues at school, and hopefully, all of our teams will find the urgency to follow these tips and any others we come up with. Thank you!


Nick R said...

Wow! I wish I had the luck of being on a team as cohesive as yours! I actually just moved grade levels to get away from my team, which was full of negativity. My new team is full of loners, but still a huge improvement! Maybe we can work on getting to know each other better.

Sweet Rhyme – Pure Reason

Ms. B./Sra. B. said...

Hi Natalie!

I loved your tips. I especially loved Tip #2. We're going to use those as our "Meeting Norms." They capture exactly what should be happening when collaborating!

I'm looking forward to this next school year because I will be working with a teacher who has a lot of experience, but most of all, she's organized and efficient. That's my goal for this next school year, because by the end of the last one, I was exhausted and burnt out! She's also so bubbly and happy, and most importantly, collaborates and shares. She is not one to just stay in her room, which is AWESOME!!

Ms. B./Sra. B. said...

Is it OK to use #2 as our meeting norms? I should have asked! Sorry!

Tanya Dwyer said...

Getting along well as a team makes such a difference in the atmosphere of your school day! Thanks for the valuable tips! =)

A+ Firsties

Miss 27 said...

I think the most important piece of advice is "assume good intentions from your teammates.". Even if something comes across wrong, if you assume it was intended to help the misunderstanding can be worked out. Don't we try to teach the kids that?

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