Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Thoughts on Teamwork

Teamwork leave you thinking bad thoughts?

I found a Twitter post the other day where a guy was talking about teamwork being work but worth it. I thought that his tweet was adept, but I couldn't help but have a bad taste in my mouth when I think about teams, teamwork, or group work. In college, I was always the one pushing my team through and making sure everyone pulled their weight and ultimately finishing up the slackers work and making it look consistent. People that know me, KNOW that I am a procrastinator, so it was a big deal for someone to push it out further than me.  
In grade school we were placed in pods and had group work...again, I would tend to back off of my ideas for the greater good of just moving with the team and getting the job done. As I read through his first post and then the next on teamwork, I kept thinking I don't agree, but then into the thirst post, I started thinking about the only team I ever fully felt worked and worked well together. It was my team.

I have said in the past, but I will restate for the newbie readers...I want what I want when I want it. I have no patience. I am a bit fussy when I don't get what I need right now. No, NOW.

A few years ago, My first real year in admin for Epic Charter School, a new department was created around me. I had no idea what a blessing it would be to interview and pick a team from scratch. I knew my strengths and I knew my weaknesses. I was able to hire 4 individuals who would be able to overcome my weaknesses and were eager to grow and learn as much as me. We spent two and a half years working to be the most efficient group (at the time) in the school. We were so versatile that we could to move to other departments when help was needed. We were a well-oiled machine. I had never been in a role of leadership like that before and I was really able to lead that group. It was the first time I had ever been in a group where we all worked equally as hard on tasks some the same some different. When someone felt like they were pulling more weight than others, we discussed it and usually came to the conclusion that everyone was still pulling their own weight. The personal growth that came from this experience was huge.

I guess what I am saying here, is that teamwork often gets a bad stigma when teams are put together haphazardly. I hated teamwork and even going into writing this post I have a bad taste in my mouth. But teamwork can be great. Teachers, when building your pods or groups during the year, for the love, be thoughtful. I know some of you probably are very thoughtful. Know that best friends don't always make for the best teams and students don't know how to pick teams without best friends.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Advice to a Friend

I was texting with a friend last night and this morning. It felt like it could easily belong here on the blog as a reflection piece. So here is MY side...

I always ask even without words that you unload on me. You gotta get that stuff out. 

Babe, I moved schools a lot too. There are times that it sucks, but the new start was helpful many times too.
None of it matters if you are trying to make a better life for your family. 

I had to take a serious look at my life and job a couple years ago. I was climbing a ladder and loving it. I love being busy. I love being the most knowledgeable person in the room about something. I loved teaching adults. But my own kids were suffering. I worked at home WITH them but was completely unavailable. 

I was worried about it looking like I was demoting. I was worried that I wouldn’t be a part of the “in crowd” anymore. I was worried I would be on an island. Guess what…all of those things are in a little way true and happened, but my family life has taken a major upswing. My kids are doing better in school. My husband and I didn’t even realize how burdened I was until I quit that admin role.

Do I miss it…YES! I miss having a seat at the table so much. I, however, just spent 2 weeks in Colorado. I have gone to so many pools with my kids this summer, I am back in charge of their learning and most of all I am happy.

You have to figure out the price of what you REALLY want, and then pay it.