Sunstone Teachers, Administrators Get Lessons in Teamwork

Community, cohesion, and trust formed the 3-part goal of this group from Sunstone Montessori. 

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This group from Portland, Oregon had been having problems with being a cohesive team, and some resentments had even built up. The workshop was booked so they could all come together and work on those issues.

Sunstone Teamwork Issues: Attacked & Solved!

It always helps when a group is responsive and positive like this one from Sunstone. They were all very interactive and they gave lots of feedback during all the processes. Participation levels were impressive, since everyone was actively engaged in all the activities we had planned for them that day.

Helping Cultivate a Greater Sense of Community

Aside from the goal mentioned above, the Sunstone group also wanted to play and have fun together. Of course that’s always part of the deal, even with our most serious team building activities. They’re always hands-on, interactive, and designed to get everyone totally engaged in what they’re doing.

Attitude Sets the Tone

We began work on a staff mission statement and they worked together as a whole to complete that. Even this “serious” activity became a fun mission for the group, as they worked together to create the statement. It’s all about the attitude: attitude sets the tone!

Attitudes can seem deep-set, but with just a few tweaks, you can see positive change almost at once. Sunstone was a great example of this in action during this workshop.

The problem: the various “teams” (by classroom/level, or the admin team, for example) knew each other and interacted fairly regularly, but there wasn’t consistent crossover, and people tended to group with folks from their own teams, or just with friends, leading to a fairly clique-y feel at whole-school events.

In this workshop, cliques were  broken up and new teams were formed. Everyone was engaged and having fun IN SPITE OF not being with their usual preferred colleagues. Among the participants, there was a sense of unity and being part of something greater than themselves. That’s because they were!

Workshop Outcome

Feedback told us that the Sunstone group felt like the workshop was worth their time. This is time that they would otherwise be spending on classroom prep/set up for the new school year. We could already see that the Sunstone participants were beginning to behave in a more inclusive way towards other staff members as a result of this experience together.