Monday, July 9, 2012

Does TEAMWORK make YOUR team work?

In the morning, I will leave with most of my co-workers and administrators to "retreat" together for a couple of days.  While I don't have an agenda of the upcoming events, I am assuming that we are gathering together to learn and to bond.  What kind of activities will help us to do that?  What kind of team-building "lessons" would be best to help us be more of a community?

I have to admit:  I am a little apprehensive about the trip.  I'm not sure about the sleeping arrangements, the bathroom situation, or the activities.  I wish that I had some sort of agenda, had some sort of idea what we are going to be doing, where I am going to be sleeping.  This apprehension makes me wonder how our kiddos feel when they come into our classrooms.  Are THEY nervous as well?  What are we doing to make them feel less apprehensive, less nervous, more at home?

I am a GT Specialist, so I don't have the same students all day.  I have kids in and out all day, all week.  So my procedures most likely differ greatly from the ones that grade-level teachers have.  I greet the students every day as they walk into my room and again as we begin our time together.  I wonder, though, if they are nervous about what we are going to do.  I work to make my classroom pretty, neat, engaging, and interesting.  Does that make them feel more welcome?

One thing that I do as some of our "first week" activities include making puppets of themselves to introduce themselves to the class.  I hope that this works as a first-step toward building community within the classroom.  I enjoy letting them share with one another and learning about each other.  It also helps me to learn more about each student.  What kinds of community building activities do you enjoy in your classroom?  Share your great ideas with all of us!!

Love, Carol Ann

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