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Meteach Meteach is offline
 
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Meteach
 
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Team building ideas?
Old 07-19-2008, 03:34 AM
 
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My school staff is fragmented due to separate buildings and lack of communication. What do you do as a staff to create a culture of team work, of learning together, and collaboration. Please include how often you have staff meetings, if they are administrivia or purposeful and informative. Also, do you have a staff newsletter? Any ideas that foster learning and professional development within your school building would be appreciated. I am not talking about about pot luck dinners or social activites out of school....I really want to know about sharing teaching ideas, working together for the benefit of the kids in your school to improve teaching. Thanks so much for any ideas.


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ForTheKids ForTheKids is offline
 
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collaboration
Old 07-19-2008, 06:32 AM
 
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We have a newsletter sent to us every Friday. It lists everything for the week ahead, such as important due dates, activities, and other vital info we might need. We also have staff meetings at the first of the month. Sometimes we meet twice if there is info the principal needs to give us. At the start of each meeting, the principal always starts out allowing the staff to share things that are happening in their lives or in their classroom. I think this helps connect us. We also have vertical teams. Each team as a teacher from each grade level and she spreads the instructional leaders between the teams. We talk about things we are doing in the classroom and share ideas for things the students need when the get to another grade. We also plan for school wide activites together. I think these vertical teams help us get to know each other and share ideas across grade levels.
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Old 07-19-2008, 07:49 AM
 
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Our school seems to be split by floors, and grade levels since we have K-3 on one floor and 4-6 on the other. Many staff don't go upstairs to the staff room so we are not bonded as a staff socially either.

My goal for this year is to create a PLC (professional learning community) with the other teacher at my grade level, who was on leave all last year, so I don't really know her at all. We will meet at least every 2 weeks I hope. It may be very informal, I suspect. I want to also include the grade 1 teachers from the school down the road as well, but maybe once every 1 or 2 months to meet with them.

We have a birthday club at school, and you are responsible for bringing a treat that day for your person. We also have specialty coffee / cappaccino and cinnamon buns brought in every Friday. These things help bring more folks into the staff room so we can chat informally.

Good luck, I hope you find some solutions, it is certainly a better environment when the staff feels like one team.
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andreea75 andreea75 is offline
 
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collaboration
Old 07-19-2008, 10:42 AM
 
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our school is very similar to ForTheKids. our vertical teams are called families. at staff developments on campus we usually sit with our families or tables have assigned seating. our names will either be on a card or we have to find out the name of our assigned table then go search for that table.
i'm changing grade levels this year, from way out in the portables to inside the buiding but i already know everyone on the 1st grade team because i have had to work with them at one time or another. we've also done book studies together. we have faculty meetings twice a month (sit with team or family or assigned table) sometimes lead by admin, district specialist, or counselors. sometimes informative, but always purposeful. let's see... once a month we have committee meetings which all have one representative from each grade level. i feel like we have many opportunities to work with staff other than our team.

we don't have a staff newsletter but we get a bulletin on fridays with important dates and info for the next week and a heads up for even the following week.

Hope this helps some!
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Meteach Meteach is offline
 
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Thanks..you have confirmed several things
Old 07-19-2008, 06:03 PM
 
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for me. I see that the value of vertical teams is more than the obvious...we haven't met vertically for a couple of years...and then it was only two grade levels. Also, our staff meetings have been cancelled too many times and only one a month was scheduled. Several of us have asked for twice a month meetings but it hasn't happened. I guess when we are left to ourselves and not called to meet and discuss important issues, morale goes down and we drift apart. (Sounds like some marriages!) Thanks for responding.


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