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Teamwork in schools: What administrators should know

Administrators can build a teamwork mentality with a few simple steps

school-teamwork-administratorsAdministrators are tasked with an ever-growing list of responsibilities in their schools and districts. Central to ensuring smooth operations? Teamwork. When school administrators, teachers, and staff members work together collaboratively, school operations and initiative are more efficient.

During Connected Educator Month, administrators will examine how they can not only stay connected through technology, but how they can use important strategies and tools to ensure that they are connected to their teachers.

Addressing teamwork and communication breakdowns can be a touchy subject. But trying one or a few of these 27 steps to encouraging teamwork in a school environment can help administrators ensure that their entire school and district team is working efficiently and effectively.

An infographic examining ways to improve teamwork also touches on the “red pen” mentality, which, according to the infographic, occurs when team members prefer their own ideas to those of others, and are quick to criticize or point out flaws in other ideas during the teamwork process.

(Next page: Teamwork tips; see the infographic)Below are a few suggestions to build and sustain positive teamwork practices.

Open: Be open to other ways of achieving the tasks.
Engage: Engage the other members of the team. Chat, say hi, and communicate.
Acknowledge: Acknowledge your strengths and weaknesses. You may find that natural leaders emerge in areas that need attention.
Feedback: Ask for feedback on how you are doing as a team player. Listen, and make changes where necessary. Teamwork can be easier when teachers know if and where they need to improve.
Compliment: Compliment team members on successes and in instances where teamwork really paid off.
Listen: Listen to spoken and unspoken words of the team. Teamwork can’t function properly if teachers or staff feel that others are not listening to them, their concerns, and their ideas.
Scrap: Be prepared to scrap a project if it isn’t working. An important part of teamwork in this situation is involving all team members in a frank discussion as to why the project isn’t working.
Party: Go out and celebrate, have a party, or participate in a fun activity that is not work-related.

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Laura Ascione

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