Is team building the missing link
I don't teach in schools any more, I am taking time out to make the profession a better place to be with Nourish the Workplace. But I also work in another educational setting that has given me an insight into how the corporate world does staff training which got me thinking.
There are teams in schools, so why not team building?
I read lots of posts over the last week about great inset days with inspiring speakers, great strategic planning, and the all important time to set the classroom up, but no one mentioned any team building. No one mentioned having any fun.
Does that have a place in the education setting?
What has segway got to do with school trips?
I work at Leeds Castle in the Education Department. On our training day we could choose between a Segway session or punting on the moat. Afterwards we did a quick round of crazy golf! But why? We would love to use the Segways on our school trips, but sadly that is not an option, so why did we spend 2 hours of a training day racing around the grounds on these?
Because it helped up bond, it helped us learn more about each other, our strengths and weaknesses, what makes us tick. We had some that were ultra confident and went speeding off, and others that were really not sure. We learnt about each other.We encouraged each other and cheered people on.
It's not the only thing we have done. In the past we have worked together in teams to complete a photo treasure hunt. This got us to work with people's personalities and work together as a team. It made us think about who was the best person for certain jobs. We had to encourage, show patience, think outside the box.
I know schools don't have the money to spend on taking the whole staff to things like Segway or crazy golf, but there are many other things you can do for free or low cost that can bring people together. I'm not talking about the dreaded drama workshops of the past, or sharing something about yourself as you go around a table. Think about what would break down barriers with your staff, what would make them open up and talk to new people.
What benefit will it have to the children?
That is what you are all thinking, right? Well it has endless possible benefits. Staff that are happy will go the extra mile. Staff will be more open to sharing resources. Staff will pull together in tough times to help each other out and help the school to where it wants to be.
I don't have any scientific research to hand, but I would bet that a bit of team building at the beginning of at least every school year would have such far reaching benefits that you will wonder why you had never done it before!