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Promoting Teamwork in Class and At Home

Promoting Teamwork in Class and At Home

June 5, 2020

By Windclaire Sese-Mendez

Learning to work as part of a team will help your child hone many social skills, such as patience, empathy, communication, respect for others, compromise and tolerance. It also helps them develop confidence in themselves and trust in other people.

Mrs Windclare, our Matrix International School teacher, shares her views on the topic.

Teamwork is a crucial skill that learners can acquire at an early age. Learners who collaborate with others develop awareness and learn to solve specific problems. While it is obvious that in the classroom learners work together, at home, children and parents must also be a team. Promoting teamwork in class and at home may be challenging but as adults, we must encourage it. Here are some few tips to do it.

1. Offer incentives.

Sometimes our learners need to be pushed a little to work with others. And that push can be in the form of an incentive. A group of Utah students in the Gold Medal Schools program participated in a survey where they were asked what kind of things made them want to work harder. Surprisingly, candy was far down on the list! What is the thing they wanted most? Time spent with a significant adult.

The gift of a teacher’s or parent’s time spent can make a tremendous impact on the life of a child. Some of the activities that they can do together are like spending recess or free time, taking a walk around the school or park, reading a book, having a book read to them or playing a game.

At MGS, we also award house points which will accumulate and contribute to their total house points at the end of each year. Other ways which may be equally effective as incentives are inviting a special visitor like community heroes, local authors, high school clubs or performing groups, having hat day or other crazy dress day – everyone gets to come to school in their favourite clothes, allowing our children an hour of their favourite video game or cooking their favourite food.

2. Doing Activities Together

Plan activities and chores to be done in groups and make sure to involve everyone. Let the children see how great it feels to be working together.

School years are an excellent time to cultivate the teamwork ethos your child will draw on throughout their lives, and many activities inside and outside the classroom are designed to help children get used to being team players. These include:

  • Problem-solving tasks, often in science or design technology, such as building the tallest possible structure using dry spaghetti and mini marshmallows as glue.
  • Group reading, where children take it in turns to read passages from a set book.
  • Music, playing simple instruments like recorders, keyboards and percussion to put together a piece of music.
  • Forest school, taking part in outdoor activities such as building shelters and lighting fires.
  • Team sports such as football, hockey, rounders, netball and relay races.
  • Debates, working as a team to argue for or against a particular issue.
  • Putting on a school play or a class assembly.
  • School forums, where elected child reps meet with staff members to discuss issues that are affecting their class.
  • Board games and party games like Scrabble, Top Trumps, Charades, Jenga and Ludo: great for developing important social skills like taking turns, collaboration and compromise.
  • Art projects such as making a large collage or mosaic, or construction projects like making a LEGO city.
  • Helping each other with homework: a great way for older children to support their younger siblings, while also developing vital skills such as communication and patience themselves.
  • Active outdoor play such as football, basketball, building dens or obstacle
  • Doing chores together helps children learn about what they need to do to care for themselves, a home and a group. They learn skills they can use in their adult lives, like preparing meals, cleaning, organising and keeping a garden. When children contribute to family life and group togetherness, it helps them feel competent and responsible. Even if they don’t enjoy the chore, when they keep going they get the feeling of satisfaction that comes with finishing a task.

 

3. Partnerships

Adults should set an example of being partners. Constant communication is necessary. Attending Open Days, Parent-Teacher Conferences and other school-related activities can strengthen this partnership. The complex and demanding nature of safeguarding and promoting children’s welfare, learning and development mean parents cannot work in isolation from teachers and other professionals.

During this lockdown, as we are all staying at home, there is an increasing need to encourage teamwork. Working on a team isn’t always easy. Kids disagree and personalities clash. But it’s in the team setting where kids will learn valuable problem-solving skills and build defining character traits. We can always emphasise that considering a request like turning down the television, asking everyone to use a moderate voice and helping someone to finish the online assignment is also a manifestation that we are a team!

Some of the suggested links related to the topic may be read here:

  1. The Importance of Teaching Your Child Teamwork
  2. 6 Tips for Teaching Your Children Teamwork
  3. 2 Working in teams

Mrs Windclaire is a History teacher and School Counsellor at Matrix International School. She has a Bachelor of Secondary Education in Social Studies, units in Master of Education major in Guidance and Counselling, and currently pursuing a Master of Science in Education. For the past 13 years, she has taught Social Studies at secondary international schools in some parts of Asia.

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