World Teachers’ Day is a UNESCO initiative held annually on October 5 to celebrate all teachers around the globe.
Early care and education professionals use many descriptions for themselves: educator, family child care provider, early care and education teacher…and the list goes on. But whether or not the word “teacher” appears in our title, at the heart of the work, and what binds together each person who in any way works with or for children aged birth through eight, is an inspiring intersection of education and care. Carol Garboden Murray addresses the wonderful combination of these key aspects of our work in her beloved book, Illuminating Care. Celebration of that work is very much in order, on October 5, and also on every other day throughout the year.
World Teachers’ Day calls us forward to a strong focus on solidarity and teamwork with others in our field, both people we work with on a regular basis, and colleagues we may see only occasionally.
Margie Carter, in the book Developing People in Early Childhood Organizations, describes her work with directors and teachers who ask for help in strengthening staff teamwork. She explains that when she is “working with programs to build strong teams and the ability to collaborate, I focus on recognizing key indicators that can be found in a program.”??
These are the indicators of teamwork Carter looks for:
• Clear Communications
• Respectful Interactions and Demonstrations of Trust
• Using Conflicts to Discover and Negotiate Perspectives
• Building on Each Other’s Ideas and Strengths
• Reliability and Responsibility
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Great discussion. Karen, I agree with Nancy - ready to write an article? Or consider an alternate contribution to the new Exchange Hub?
Cindy and Karen, I very much appreciate your comments. Karen, your ideas are important and would make a great article for Exchange magazine. Would you have an interest in writing something on this topic, or might you have suggestions for others who might be interested?
I appreciate this article and the indicators of teamwork - but each one of them should come with an explanation about how to achieve it with a linguistically diverse staff. Early childhood programs are keen to hire staff that speak the languages of their communities and families. When a team has members that have different languages, or different levels of comfort with the majority language, addressing these 5 indicators takes on a whole new meaning. HOW will you ensure clear communications so that ALL are included - not just clear for some and challenging for others? How will you support all staff to learn ways to have respectful interactions with colleagues who speak different languages and how will they learn to demonstrate trust that work when words alone are not sufficient? The same kinds of questions should be addressed for all 5 indicators in order to make sure you don't end up with a team that is more effective for some members than others.
i think those are all features to look for in staff meetings, in particular staff meetings where teachers share ideas about children. without these meetings, and they seem to be fewer and fewer, respectful communication helps very litt.e