Every February, our school takes a week to focus on an idea, value, or skill that we want to develop in our school. Our regular classes continue throughout the week for the most part, but we make room in each day for some special activities that are designed to cultivate awareness and skill in the area of focus.
This past year, we chose teamwork as our special emphasis.
We used TEAM with this acronym:
T-together with God, together with each other
A-accept yourself, accept others
M-maximize the people around you
We recited these ideas collectively often throughout the week and discussed their implications in a number of different sessions. However, believing that experience shapes people more deeply than words, we put more emphasis on group activities that would teach these lessons rather rely on talks and lectures. Some of the activities that we used to communicate and reinforce the values of teamwork were lowering the hoop, blind men’s egg hunt, faith fall, unity line at lunch, running laps together as teams, burning boat activity, blindfolded wheelbarrow race, photo scavenger hunt, and cracking the code.
Each of these activities was tied to specific values and skills that are essential to teamwork. They were concepts such as:
- everybody matters
- everyone is included
- we do things together
- we listen to other people
- we are willing to help and be helped
- we look out for each other
- we serve each other
- we hear from other perspectives before making decisions
- everyone talks and everyone listens
- we submit to one another
- we follow instructions
- we recognize that everyone needs to play their part and sometimes that is leading, sometimes that is following.
We learned that encouragement and affirmation is critical for progress. Many tasks require extensive brainstorming and creative thinking. It is important to stay on task without complaining even when the job becomes tiresome and frustrating. Everyone needs to stay with the group even when they feel like being alone or checking out. We must choose and support leaders.
What we discovered was that the week of focusing on TEAM was one big lesson in church brotherhood. As we practiced the activities, we became aware that these skills are just as vital to successful living as anything academic in our curriculum. This is an area that we knew our school needed to major on. The intense emphasis for a short period of time left us looking other opportunities to develop in this area.
If you are interested in more information about our experience, please contact me. Schedules, descriptions of activities, and written procedures are available for your use.
Contact Kendall Myers via private message (you’ll have to be logged in), or email him at myerskendall at gmail dot com.
CONTRIBUTOR: Kendall Myers