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[Weekly Inspiration] How to Turn a Group of Strangers into a Team

[Weekly Inspiration] How to Turn a Group of Strangers into a Team

The beginning of the school year brings about a lot of changes in your school. New staff members are joining the team, teachers have been reassigned to different grades, and you may be faced with a lot of unfamiliar faces. Working in a team can be hard enough, especially when you are unfamiliar with your fellow team members. This is where a concept called “teaming” comes in.

Professor Amy Edmondson studies "teaming," where people come together quickly (and often temporarily) to solve new, urgent or unusual problems. Her fascinating Ted Talk shares the elements of what is needed to turn a group of strangers into a quick-thinking team that can swiftly respond to challenges.

Teaching can at times feel like an isolating profession as the school year rolls along: after all, you’re (typically) on your own when it comes to delivering a lesson, grading papers, or making phone calls home. You may feel like the students in your classroom are all your responsibility but, teaming can make a monumental difference when it comes to planning interventions, building relationships with stakeholders, and developing expert lesson planning and behavior management best practices.

Be sure to connect with those that are on your team and avoid recreating the wheel. Your colleagues are probably having the same feelings of isolation that you are. Whether it’s leaning on educators more “horizontally”, meaning educators teaching the same grade or subject, or “vertical teaming” to better understand curriculum approaches and student readiness the grades below and above you—teaming is so powerful! You will be amazed what a team of strangers can accomplish when you work together.