Friday, August 30, 2013

Taking Care of Teammates

We started our first official week back on Monday, and I was all set for taking care of my teammates. We've added a teacher on our grade level this year. I'm team leader, so I really wanted to set the tone for taking care of each other and having fun while doing a great job teaching first grade.

I spent some (ok, TOO much) time this summer going through pinterest finding cute, inexpensive gifts to give my 6 teammates. The first one I showed you as a Monday Made It!, a handy post it note holder. I made one for myself, too, because I am always losing those little pads under my stacks of to do's. My teammates were surprised and thankful. Turns out--the holders are cute, but if you plan to write on the post it while it's still on the holder you'll want to spend more than a dollar on the acrylic frame. Otherwise, when you put any weight on the pad, the frame is easily pushed down making the pad wobble up and down as you write. Oh well. At least my team knows I was thinking about them, and I can find those little notes when I need one.

On Tuesday we had district training, and I didn't get to see anyone from my team that day.

We were back at our own school on Wednesday, and I gave my teammates this:

It was a hit! Woohoo! Even if my friends didn't like the peach tea packet, they could still have a bottle of water for drinking in one of the many meetings we had this week or while working in their rooms.

On Thursday I gave them this:

(Thanks go to where I found the free printable to go with the popcorn packets and the inspiration for the water bottles.)

Another hit! I was feeling like I'd really gotten our year off to a happy start until one of my dear teammates said, "I can't wait to see what we get tomorrow!" Which really is very sweet except I had made those little gifts during the summer when it seemed like I had endless time to get all of my grand projects completed before the new school year started. I searched for just the right ideas, I bought the supplies for five projects, and then I managed to follow through on completing three projects for all of us. I always have things I meant to do during the summer that are still undone as the new year starts. But this time, I'd set up expectations in my teammates that each day we saw each other this week I'd have a little something for them. Oh no. SO, despite the fact that I was dog-tired after this week's meetings, trainings, meetings, ARD's, meetings, trainings, ARD's, calling parents to tell them I'm their child's teacher, and a few more meetings, I got up extra early on Friday to pull together the supplies to make these:

I don't even know how everyone liked these because by the time I got to school Friday morning and just left them by everyone's door, I was D-O-N-E, (My husband reminded me last night that I hit this point every back to school season.) and I still had a day full of meetings, prepping for and having Meet the Teacher at the end of the day. There was WAY too much still to be done for me to be in show-off mode. And then, a few hours into the morning, that team spirit I'd been working so hard to foster with the gifts, came out just when I needed it most. Seeing how overwhelmed I was, my dear teammates started copying and cutting, stapling and stuffing, and anything else that I wasn't caught up on. By the time families arrived in the afternoon, I was smiling and ready to welcome them to my room. So a week that started out as me wanting to do for them ended with them doing for me. And after all, isn't that the whole point of working in teams. Looks like my plan was successful!

A big thank you to the cooperative learning group known as my first grade team. It's going to be a great year!

(**A note--I started this post last Friday evening, but it's taken a week to get it done. I have now survived five straight days of school with my new sweeties. I love them, but must we have five whole days in week1?! It's just too big a shock to all of us to go from summer speed to 75 m.p.h. like that.)

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