The start of the school year is often filled with whole staff professional learning days. The partner schools I have supported in these last few weeks have all been zooming out. Making the time to connect their staff, new and existing, to the panoramic and the microscopic view.
It has been exciting to witness new collaborative teaching teams come together for the first time. I never underestimate the importance of these foundational moments. And I have been wondering about how we build better teams.
My design of dialogue and collaborative activities for teachers has emphasised a school value, their identity or DNA. (The important stuff). This emphasis has been subtle and oblique. Not flag waving or overt. My learning design created the space for enacting and embodying such values and practices.
We shine a light on what we experience through some gentle reflection, and we pay attention to those positive behaviours.
To build great teams and sustain high collaborative performance, we need to bookmark these experiences. We need a collective appreciation for the standard we reached together and the way it made us feel. So in the future, when we reconvene, we know what we are capable of.
My own approach to facilitation emphasises the sub-text and meta experience. I am never far from asking, “how did we do?” or, “How did that experience make you feel?”
By placing a ribbon on that page of our experience, we bookmark the standard we reached, the expectation we share and where to build from next time. Hopefully moving the ribbon again.