People work in teams to achieve goals that they might not be able to achieve on their own. This is one of the reasons that we work in teams in our classroom. Also, it has been shown that children depend upon the approval of their friends, and most are much more influenced by a remark from a peer than an adult. This positive peer support allows for social development and learning. This is because being taught how to work effectively and cooperatively as a team raises one's self-esteem. As Jeanne Gibbs writes in her book Tribes: A Process for Social Development and Cooperative Learning, "The primary resource predicting the success or failure of each person as a human being is a precious energy known as self-esteem." Being a member of a team in our classroom means that one is adequately recognized and has the same opportunity to present oneself.
Team Norms and Expectations:
- Attentive Listening: We pay close attention to one another's words and feelings. We consider what the have to say and respect their personal opinions.
- Appreciation: We treat others kindly and state our appreciation for their unique qualities, value and helpful contributions to others.
- Right to Pass: We are able to choose when and to what extent to participate in the team. Each person has the right to control him/herself with regard to the team.
- Confidentiality: What we say in the team, stays in the team. We are confident that our team members will honor what we share with them.