When teachers come together, it benefits everyone at the school. Teacher team building can build trust, promote collaboration and encourage good communication among your educators. It has been described as “the most important investment you can make for your people.”
U.S.-based University of Washington assistant professor of education Min Sun says it best: “Student learning is not a function of just one teacher but of the combined effort of many teachers.” In other words, it takes a team to help students succeed. These four activities, along with team-building giveaways for teachers, will motivate and inspire staff, ensuring a successful year.
Teacher team-building ideas
- Discover super powers: Everyone brings different strengths to the table. Find out more about your team using this simple method. Start by breaking off into small groups of four or five people. Have each person silently brainstorm what they believe the rest of the group members’ super powers are and why. They should also write down their own super power. Share the results. This will allow teachers to learn more about others’ strengths while recognizing their own. Help them keep their superhero powers top of mind with a team-building giveaway, like a superhero pen or sportpack.
- Exercise the brain: Jump in, jump out not only gets people moving, it also stimulates the brain. This activity works best in larger groups. Everyone forms a circle and joins hands. Participants repeat what the facilitator does and says. There are only four commands: Jump left, jump right, jump in and jump out. Sounds easy, right? Not so fast! Keeping up with instructions gets more difficult as the game goes on. For instance, the brainteaser kicks in when the facilitator commands participants to repeat what he says while doing the opposite. Reward champions with a school logo’d T-shirt or hoodie.
- Build a tower: If you’re looking for a fun, problem-solving activity, try tower building. Divide teachers into groups of 8 to 15 people. Instruct them to make the tallest, free-standing tower they can, using only their shoes. Have participants come up with a method of measurement to determine the winning team. Victors walk away with a memo pad set. Using their shoes will remind teachers of an important lesson: even if resources are limited, anything is possible with teamwork.
- Create a unique solution: Encourage creative thinking, collaboration and problem solving with a create-your-own-solution challenge. Divide educators into groups of four or five people. Present them with a hypothetical problem. For instance, tell them they are locked out of (or inside of) the building, or they have to wake up for an important meeting, but they have no alarm clock. Teams are challenged to come up with as many solutions as possible and present them to the group. Take a vote on the best solution, and reward the winning team with a school logo’d water bottle or travel mug.
Remember, team building is so much more than the fun that ensues. It can build trust among your team, improve collaboration and encourage better communication. Try these ideas, coupled with giveaways for teachers, for a fun and motivating experience that will have lasting results.