Teacher Teamwork: How Do We Make It Work?

Teacher Teamwork: How Do We Make It Work?

Teacher Teamwork: How Do We Make It Work?

Teacher Teamwork: How Do We Make It Work?

Synopsis

Packed with strategies, tips, and activities you can quickly put into practice, this book shows how to build productive teams and intentionally create an environment of professional engagement in your school. Authors Margaret Searle and Marilyn Swartz organize the work into four key steps: (1) establishing guidelines and protocols, including drafting agendas and timelines; (2) managing and resolving conflicts, including giving honest feedback and building team morale; (3) refining decision-making skills, including creating win-win situations and improving flexibility and efficiency; and (4) building team capacity, including evaluating and sustaining teamwork. With the guidance in this book, you'll soon see the benefits that come from highly effective teams of teachers who powerfully focus on student results.

Excerpt

The best teamwork comes from men who are working inde
pendently toward one goal in unison
.

—James Cash Penney

When we asked educators across the nation the question, “How well do your teams use their common planning time?” the same issues kept popping up. “I would rather eat glass than go to a meeting at our school. It’s a waste.” “I need my planning time to do my own work.” “If I would die during our team meeting, the transition would be very subtle. So boring!”

We know that working together can help us solve tough problems and keep our sanity at the same time. People have far more potential for reducing anxiety, addressing complex issues, and improving creativity when they work in teams, so why do many educators have such adverse reactions to teamwork? Perhaps they do not take the time to establish unity and purpose—the glue that holds a team together. Maybe they forget to apply the oil of routines, norms, and procedures to make things run smoothly.

This book will guide paraprofessionals, teachers, and supervisors through simple steps to move your school from “groups of reluctant players” to “highly effective teams.” We will look at how the needs of your team change as you move through predictable stages of team development. The first . . .

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