We understand that when teams work well, they are successful in solving problems. Teams are about harnessing the collective talents of a diverse group. In order to provide teams with opportunities to build strong relationships, Chets Creek provides events such as holiday breakfasts, collegiate days, and other celebrations at school, but we also encourage outside events such as Happy Hours after work and team parties and showers, engagement celebrations, etc.. Team leaders are trained on the dynamics of teamwork and are expected to be the one to make sure that no one on the team feels left out. They are expected to provide for opportunities for the grade level to meet outside of school to get to know each other better.
We realize that strong social relationships are the leading indicator of our overall happiness. From Vital Friends we learned that if you have a best friend at work you are more likely to: "engage, get more done in less time, have fun on the job, innovate and share ideas, and feel informed and know your opinion counts."
The Kindergarten Team is an excellent example of how organized events have spilled over in time so that the team directs its own social connections. Tonight the Kindergarten Team met at a local restaurant for dinner after school to celebrate one of its own being named Teacher of the Year. They laughed. They shared stories about each other. They reminisced about other times when they had been together. Sure, they all have families and outside responsibilities, but they know that spending time together is meaningful. Being balanced may be about having great friendships that extend between work and home. These teachers really like each other. They trust each other. They depend on each other. They are not willing to let each other down or to let the Team down. This personal foundation provides the trust that is needed for teachers to truly deepen their work - for teachers to begin to ask for help from their peers and to give honest feedback to each other. They say that many teachers leave the profession because they don't have a friend at work. It's important that we make sure that each teacher has that connection. Each kindergarten teacher has a friend at work that she can go to and ask an embarrassing questions. She has someone that will help when its needed and that will lift her up when she has had a difficult day. And all that makes Chets Creek a GREAT place to work - a place you NEVER want to leave.