Charleston teachers strengthen teamwork
by JOYANNA LOV,E Banner Staff Writer
Aug 04, 2013 | 1017 views | 0 0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Development day
ELEMENTARY TEACHERS, below, from Charleston stretch an inner tube to hold a ball in place as part of a team-building activity. The teachers then carried the ball to a bucket on the other side of the course.
view slideshow (4 images)
Charleston Elementary teachers focused on teamwork and communication during a professional development day at Ocoee Retreat Center (Horn’s Creek) in Polk County.

From lining up according to birthdays without talking to carrying items to a bucket without touching them, teachers had to figure out new ways to communicate and to work together while completing tasks.

“Team building at all levels is always a good thing for faculty, because we have to be a team to move students along from level to level,” school counselor Sharon Melton said.

This year is unique for the school because there have not been any new teachers, and none of last year’s teachers have left, she said.

She said Friday’s event provided a good opportunity for teachers of different grade levels to come together.

Principal Jodie Grannen said she is always looking for new things to do with the school’s faculty.

“It’s just important to have that camaraderie to impact the lives of students,” Grannen said.

She said some of the activities the teachers did could be adapted for use in the classroom.

Team building exercises of some kind are a staple of Charleston Elementary’s in-service.

Teacher Cheryl Hysinger said she enjoyed approaching the same things that would usually be talked about in teacher in-service in a new way.

“It’s nice to be out [of the classroom] and doing something different ... being able to socialize with the other teachers and build relationships,” teacher Renee Whitman said.

Hysinger said her favorite team-building activity was one where the teachers were divided into two groups and had to touch numbered circles. The circles were numbered one through 30 and scattered inside a square on the ground. Teachers had to touch the numbers in order without having more than one person in the square at a time and without going out of order.

Another game tested teachers’ knowledge of each other’s first names.

“Communication and participation is important to adults, and that’s what we want to carry over to our students,” special services teacher Robin Lawson said. “They need to learn to communicate and to get along with other people because, when they go into the work force, they are going to have to be able to communicate, and they are going to have to be able to cooperate with whoever they are working for.”

Her favorite activity of the day had teachers working in teams to transport balls into a bucket using a tire inner tube connected to ropes that each team member held.

She said the most difficult activity was one in which each teacher was given a picture, and as a group they had to put the pictures in order. The teachers could not show their pictures to each other and could only describe them.

Preparation for the new school year continues Monday when the teachers who went to state training earlier this summer will be sharing what they learned with their grade groups.