Why teaming is so important
Dave and I are going to Hawaii next week for my 50th birthday. The first time we ever went, we heard Israel "IZ" Kamakawiwo'ole’s version of “Somewhere over the Rainbow” combined with Louis Armstrong’s “What a Wonderful World”. It is so beautifully done and a perfect combination of two incredibly poignant songs. In preparation for our trip, we were listening to the song today, and I thought about how each song contributes a perfect complement to the other.
Thinking about that reminded me of how teams, departments, or grade levels often work in some schools and not in others. I have seen grade level mates come together several times a day just to check in “is everyone okay?” and then come together formally once a week to do lesson planning together, even if they aren’t teaching the same thing! Why? Relationships, I believe, are the reason. They have formed relationships that thrive in a time of strife, frustration and disgruntled feelings about the education world. Having partners in whom you can trust makes all the difference in the world. I’ve watched it happen, so I know it isn’t stuff of which fairy tales are made. I have also seen and heard about teams who try and try to work together but one or two folks simply cause too much friction in the group. In Israel’s song, it would be like singing flat in some parts or sharp in others. The clashing simply doesn’t make for good working conditions.
What makes the difference? I hold a pretty firm belief that relationships and communication make all the difference in the world. What keeps a team from working well? Holding grudges, silence, martyrdom, and resentments. So, what to do? I suggest three things:
Just for today, perhaps it might be time to examine your relationships with your peers and think of one thing you can do this week to build relationships. Great relationships don’t just happen somewhere over the rainbow. They can happen on your team in your school.