IntroductionI noticed the back of a principal's business card. Dr. Nicole Evans of City Garden public Montessori in St. Louis had shared her contact with me, between seminars:
Our Great Lesson
Like a Great Lesson, you need to hear it again and again, but you also need to hear it in your bones. Psychologically, we crave to know our origins. We can also tell the children the origin story of our school every year, to invite them to be part of who we are. They also have to feel it in their bones. Whose dream and passion and work became this school?
The Stages of Team-building
- The first stage is the forming stage. This is our honeymoon stage. We explore what we dream, explore each other, and it is relatively easy compared with what happens next.
- When the team gets more comfortable with each other, we enter the storming stage. It can lead to confrontations about vision and personality. Things become more difficult to handle and deal with, like an external threat. Politeness fades. There may be jockeying for dominance. There can be unclear roles or places within the group, as well as unclear objectives.
- To move past the storming stage, we can call it the norming stage. This team refocuses on task, mission, and purpose. There is a focus on a more clear vision and work together.
- Next, the group can move to the stage of performing. It is a steady state of progress when the team reaches and maintains the optimal level of performance. In a mature way, the family works to resolve disagreements.
Developing the Foundation
1. We have to work to build and maintain solid relationships, in respect, empathy, and trust.
2. We have to work to communicate, to speak up, clarify, and listen to each other.
3. We have to work on efforts to support our colleagues and not leave individual s out of conversations.
“Why are you so happy, bricklayer?” the traveler asked.
“We are making a cathedral,” she smiled, laying one more brick.
Conflict and Peace Agreements
These reflections followed a talk by Jack Jose, head of a Montessori high school in Cincinnati, and Krista Taylor, winner of Cincinnati Teacher of the Year at the American Montessori Society Conference in San Diego, "Montessori without Borders". We have been discussing creating collaborative partnerships with communities: collegiate relationships, volunteer piloting, team building, collaborative staff contracting, and mentoring programs.