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Home : 2004 : Jun : 15

    building a team
    By Doni

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    Does your school have any school-wide intiative for building learning communities? Unfortunately in a situation where you have a grade level that everyone does their own thing, it often takes a school-wide initiative to change things. Does your administration like for all teachers on a grade level to be on the same page? If the administration has no problem with lack of cohesion on a grade level, it will be hard for you to make the change. The first thing you guys need to do is to sit down together and honestly assess how you work together as a team. Some of the teachers on your grade level might not even realize that there is a problem, so your first step has got to be everyone getting together to assess problems.

    After you all have brainstormed problems on your grade level (honestly - everyone has to feel like they can be 100% honest without fear of reprisal for this to work), then you need to work together to fix the problems. My school is in the beginning stages of this process. We have horribly low morale. Our school-wide survey results (assessing school strengths and weaknesses) were so bad the county thought there was an error in the computer program. After redoing the survey two more times, they learned that the problem wasn't with the computer program. Our situation is so bad and school wide that county administrators are coming in to help us turn the place around. I was sent by the county along with parents and two other teachers to a character education conference to start the basis of our rebuilding program. We are the core team, and we have our work cut out for us. We have done the "needs assessment", but now we have to come back and really be honest and assess exactly what the problems are, and then how are we going to fix them.

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