Bec in the library

"I have always imagined that paradise will be a kind of library." — Jorge Luis Borges

504: Module 1, teamwork and collaboration March 13, 2012

Filed under: ETL504 — becinthelibrary @ 1:47 pm
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Required reading

Law, S., & Glover, D. (2000). Leading effective teams. In Educational leadership and learning : practice, (pp. 71-86).Buckingham, England : Open University Press. 

Reading response

The concept of needing to consider people as both individuals and as parts of a team is very interesting. The reasons why people form or participate groups/what constitutes a group is also enlightening:

In a school setting, many people both choose and are chosen to be in groups for these reasons. How important is choice when it comes to participating in groups? How much does choice influence the level of positivity people bring to their group (surely a prerequisite to the success of the group itself and the outcomes the group hopes to achieve)? The reading talks about 3 key concepts that may help answer this question: the group members’ levels of inclusion, control and affection.

The following diagram is a really helpful table to have, as you can readily identify people in your team who personify the roles and then consequently know how to help them be a positive part of the team. When I’m next in a group situation, I’ll be thinking of these roles and structuring my responses and expectations around them.

Before I blog any further, I just want to say that whilst I feel very supported in my distance learning, I sorely miss sitting in a REAL room, with REAL people, in REAL time discussing readings. If we could use the jigsaw format of sharing, it would be even better and I wouldn’t have to read and digest so many bloody dry pieces of academia myself.

Required reading

Beck, J. D., & Yeager, N. M. (1994). Making teams work : an underused window of opportunity. In The leader’s window: mastering the four styles of leadership to build high-performing teams (pp. 183-206). New York : Wiley.

Reading response
 Some good ideas and thoughts in this article but as it was not education specific, I switched off pretty fast. Although there are obvious parallels between business and education, if I can’t see blindingly obvious examples of how a reading directly correlates to schools, I’m not interested.
Required reading
Reading response
Extremely interesting concept that frankly scares me. How WOULD a school run like this? They give lovely, soft focus general answers but don’t necessarily give hard examples. Principals, and other leaders, have a purpose and hopefully, that purpose is to make decisions and take action on issues that teachers themselves, whilst having input, are too busy focusing on teaching and learning to actually spend a lot of time on.
Required reading
Reading response
Well, this article just pretty much summed up my own thoughts as listed above!
Module task

Consider how decisions are made at your school, in your home, at the local club. How do the approaches taken in the readings by Harvey, Law and Beck match the way things are done in these places? Look at the range of tools used and the inclusiveness of the techniques. What can you learn from this?
Consider how you might adjust the current approaches and how you might make use of small group processes to gain good outcomes.
At times there feels like a lot of chiefs and not too many Indians, yet those chiefs don’t come to much consensus. I’m sheltered from most of the politics as I’m not working full time in a school, I’m only a sub teacher and spouse of a currently working teacher at the school.
What I do see and hear for myself is an almost total lack of sharing what IS being decided or worked on, or thought about, or done. I believe a huge part of working collaboratively together in a team is that people feel valued and appreciated for what they do; being recognised is essential. At our school, perhaps due to size?, this is so rarely done and the morale of the staff is often low because of it.
Nothing major, but a quick 5 minutes in a staff meeting to offer celebrations, thanks or sharing best practice would be a great start. Leaders MUST do this if they want happy campers on their staff!
Likewise, families need this recognition and appreciation too. My husband shows his love through actions, even little ones like making a cup of tea for me or clearing the table while I put the baby to bed so I can come back downstairs to a calm, clean environment of an evening. These small yet important offerings mean our family functions well.
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