Teamwork: Practice, Perspective, and Persistence

I read a quote recently in a favorite Jodi Picoult book that said, “Grandmothers in Botswana tell their children that if you want to go quickly, go alone. If you want to go far, you must go together.”

This quote really struck me as the heart of what we do here at FLVS.

We have always been pioneers and we are still striving to blaze the trail. But perhaps the most important concept that has surfaced for us over the years is this idea that we reach our greatest potential not when we get to the finish line the fastest, but when we embrace real collaboration and teamwork that allows us to reach that finish line and so much more.

Teamwork is the heart of what we do and it’s an important skill we strive to model for our students. True teamwork is a learned skill and many confuse it with simply working on tasks alongside each other. But true teamwork requires mutual agreement and compromise and a beautiful dance of give and take. It’s not an easy dance and it takes work, but it’s worth it. So how do we become better at this give and take dance? How do we learn to make real teamwork a priority? It takes practice, perspective, and perseverance.

Learning to reach mutual agreement and collaborate effectively takes practice, individual practice as well as practice as a team. And it starts with reflecting on how we see things and opening our minds to learn how others see things too. Because often times, the ability to collaborate with others, especially those who are different than us, hinges on our ability to see a new perspective…or at least be open to a new perspective. Perhaps the most important piece is perseverance. The ability to keep going despite any struggle or controversy. The maturity to remain diligent despite differing opinions and the tenacity to keep breaking down any barriers between a team or its teammates to realize the final dream of accomplishing great things.

There are countless examples of accomplishments made possible only by a decisive and definitive commitment to teamwork. And countless more examples of failures that might have turned out differently if true teamwork had been a priority. How far can teamwork take you?

Put a little practice into opening your perspective and stay persistent and you’ll find out!

Post by former FLVS Teacher Amanda Schaffer

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