Saturday, October 18, 2014

Team Building

I was hoping to blog every day, didn't happen this week. My birthday was Wednesday and I am creeping ever closer to my next decade of life. I'm neither happy nor unhappy about getting closer to my 6th decade. Three years to go and then, well, hopefully my life will be a bit more settled. Retirement is not something I think about often. One of our assistants will be retiring come Dec. and she is only 5 months older than me.
The week was sort of weird. I kept feeling as if I was tilting, two steps behind, unable to think or create. It was maddening. And then Friday hit, Team Building Fridays. My co teacher's idea of connecting with the students. I did not participate. One of the things that drives me crazy is that he plans these, or actually does no planning really, days and then gets angry with the kids when the exercises don't turn out the way he had planned. Yesterday was a really good example. It isn't that the the exercises or games are dumb, they aren't really, but he doesn't explain to them what he wants to them to do. When the outcome is not what he wanted he gets really angry with the students. These are teenagers in alternative school, they aren't going to subtlety. So yesterday he wants the students to accomplish a task that has them all reaching the goal. But he doesn't explain that and as one of the students told him, he broke them up into teams and also didn't tell them that they could use the other teams successes. The point of the activity is for all of the students to reach the opposite side of a series of blocks. He creates the route and then it is like a game of mine sweeper on the computer, if you make a wrong step your team has to start over. He gave them no strategies to complete the task and never once told them that the object was to help EVERYONE get to their opposite sides of the tarp.
When he debriefed with the students they were angry that he didn't tell them the strategies and he was angry at them for not getting the subtlety of the activity. Drives me nuts and is why I don't participate in those types of activities. Previously, he had a full on mutiny when the activity required students to carry each other across a "lava field." Carry each other! Really? We have trouble when we do activities that require the students to hold hands, the boys don't want to touch each other and so he chooses an activity that requires them to carry each other? I just don't get it at all.
We don't teach any life skills and then he expects the students to use life skills they don't have and gets mad when they refuse.
I have tried in the past three years to explain this to him, but he just doesn't get it or doesn't want to because then the team building requires some actual prep work over the week. Argh.....

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