When is the last time you worked with others as a team to achieve a goal? How far back to you have to think? Are you lucky enough to be part of a terrific team right now?
I love the focus of the 81st book in the Dave Burgess Consulting, Inc line! TeamMakers: Positively Impacting the Lives of Children through District-Wide Dreaming, Collaborating, and Change is written by Laura Robb and Evan Robb. There is a clear emphasis on creating sustainable change as a district. I’m blown away by the way Laura & Evan take on this topic, which has the potential to create scapegoats for educators on every level. They address each level head on – central office administration, building administration, and teachers – and share how each of us as a role to play in the betterment of our schools for students.
Some of the quotes that really resonated with me are:
“…in many classrooms technology is simply an ornament. How students learn hasn’t changed.”
“…when staff and administrators share with students dreams and personal stories about their teaching and learning lives, students feel safe to share theirs. Sharing dreams and stories builds positive relationships.”
“…risk-taking can initially raise fear and uncertainty but ultimately produce enthusiasm and courage.”
“…no one role is more valuable than another.” -Marc Ferris, EdD
I also truly enjoyed Chapter 8: Mentors and Coaches! The interludes from current educators at various levels was enlightening and terrific examples how it looks when true teamwork is happening everywhere in a district. There is so much to take away from this book, and it presents the perfect literature to create a district-wide book study! The whole idea is that we can’t make it happen unless we are willing to put in the work and create a team that has one another’s backs. We must all share a vision and a mission to move education forward in a system.
I am so blessed to work in a school system where this idea of TeamMakers is a reality. There is always room for improvement, but my school system is frequently leading the way and as a whole, we function as a pretty impressive team.
Valuing the work of every individual in a system is vital to a team achieving its goals.
My oldest daughter plays softball, and she has played right field in every season. After playing softball for many years myself, I knew what playing “right field” meant – or so I thought I did. I jokingly said something to one of her coaches about Bailey playing right field because she was still learning and had a l.o.n.g. way to go in coordination, speed, processing the play of the game, etc. He (rightfully) put me in my place by telling me she’s in right field because we can count on her to always back up the play on first base. She’s in right field because she’s got a decent arm on her. She’s in right field because when a ball gets by her, she’ll go chase it down. Every position on the softball field is important because every position has their own role to making sure the team achieves success.
My implementation is to make sure that every person I come in contact with feels valued. Sometimes our custodians, nutrition workers, nurses, front office staff, assistants, etc feel as though they aren’t as important as the classroom teachers. In education, the focus, unfortunately, is on test scores – so unless someone is a classroom teacher in a tested subject area, it can be easy to overlook their importance to the team. Every person in the building has a purpose and a value to the overall dream. I have no idea what this will look like, but I’m going to come up with some way to help others feel valued, and continue to feel valued throughout the year.