Why do we need to work together?
However, as teachers, we also know that teaching does not even begin to sum up what we do. In fact, teaching is usually the LEAST important thing that we do. We are counselors, confidantes, custodians, bankers, mothers, fathers, doctors, news reporters, comedians, role models and more!
With that being said, it is our role to prepare, support, and empower students and prepare them for their futures. Working together, collaborating, and interacting with other human beings, is one thing that goes far beyond any content and is important for ALL of our students no matter what future goals they are working towards. So, even though you may not be as passionate about teaching teamwork skills as you are about that political cartoon, science experiment, math problem, thriller of a book, personal narrative, speech, painting, song, or more, please take the time to TEACH kids about how to work and talk with one another. They need you to serve as a role model, which seems especially important in our country's current fragile, controversial, heated state.
The two downloadable, printable resources below are great to pull from. Give students a focus, or let them pick a focus question of their own. You can't just expect students to already know how to talk to one another or work together, that needs to be part of your teaching. Spend time planning how to teach, model, and reinforce collaboration and discussion skills. One way to model this is by using a fishbowl. Not sure what this is... watch the video below!