3 Characteristics That Defines Teamwork

If you were the leader of a team, what would you like to see from each member of your team? When all of your answers come in, teamwork comes from all team members displaying these 3 characteristics:


In our class last night one more thought came forward and that was TRUST. Trust is important for teamwork to be its best. You gain the trust of others when you demonstrate great effort, great attitude and are fair to all concerned.

Our most important team is our family. Whether we are young or old, the parent or the child, we can ask ourselves if we are being the kind of teammate we would like to lead every day. Both children and adults can ask: “Are we giving all of our responsibilities great effort, with our best, most positive attitude and are we fair to all concerned.”

If we are, then we are demonstrating great Teamwork.


Family is our most important team

Jess & dad at ballgameWhile we will be on many teams in our life, ranging from sports to business – the most important team we will ever be on is the one that we are closest too – FAMILY. How do we demonstrate our teamwork with family members? What are the characteristics that we have within us that we can grow and show, that demonstrates teamwork.

A team is not just about one person, it is about working together in UNITY to reach a common goal. The team leaders (parents) need to agree on what they want the team to be known for and accomplish. Then the team (all family members) can work in UNITY with JOYFULNESS to accomplish those goals. Imagine if every family understood the PURPOSE of the team and then went about JOYFULLY working with others on the team, knowing that all of them were TRUSTWORTHY to do their part in reaching that goal.

All families can work like a great team, if they have a Mission, Vision, Core Values that everyone on the team (family) is working to fulfill. If our family is not working in UNITY at this time, could it be that not everyone is on the same page? They may not know what the vision is or what their role is in making that vision come true. Each of us can make our team stronger by doing our part or what is best for the team (family) with KINDNESS and LOVE. In fact just being GRATEFUL for our teammates is a good start to helping everyone on the team to reach the goal of the team.

Lets begin our journey of Family Teamwork by remembering that UNITY is a powerful virtue that brings people together, valuing them and practicing peace in all circumstances.

Did you notice the virtues / gifts of character that were in bold letters?

First Technical Theater Week – Huge Success!

Our first Technical Theater Week was a huge success. Students will continue to fine tune their technical theater vocabulary over time but their enthusiasm for this lesser known theatrical art is commendable. Lighting Design rarely gets the attention that it deserves but BLS students are hooked!The skill, creativity, and vision required to pull off an innovative lighting design takes collaboration, communication and patience. I look forward to seeing our students overcome these challenges.

Students demonstrated excellent command over lighting vocabulary and concepts and then they made lighting decisions for their original play, “The Helping Oak Tree.” Students challenged themselves to explain their ideas to their team mates and provide constructive criticism in order to arrive at a consensus.

It was a new way of communicating for nine year olds but their perseverance to speak thoughtfully and respectfully, while also making their ideas clear is an example for children of all ages.

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Ready, Set, Get Tough!

In 13 (short) weeks, I will be competing — and I use that term loosely — with a team in the Mid-Atlantic Tough Mudder Event. To give an overview of the obstacles I am committed to overcoming, I will submerge and swim through an ice tank, crawl through narrow, sloping pipes leading into frigid mud, slither under low-hanging live wires waiting to electrocute, leap over 4-foot high hurdles of kerosene flames, and so, so much more across the distance of 12 miles!


Why go through with this? Besides wanting to challenge myself and test my physical limits, the Tough Mudder raises awareness and funds for theWounded Warrior Project. This project is focused on reintegrating injured soldiers into society, and active lifestyles, with their programs.

If you are interested and able, please support me in the Tough Mudder event, on September 8th, by donating online here. The proceeds raised will assist many individuals and families struggling to deal with the injuries received in the line of duty. You contribution is greatly appreciated!


Life Skills: Our Practice of Teamwork and Self-Reliance in the wake of Irene

Teaching character and life skills to students

As we have come to the end of the month and our discussions on Teamwork it was gratifying to see the use of teamwork in the families here at our school.  Our students really got a special opportunity to display teamwork this week with our brush with Irene, the hurricane.

Some of the parents in the school started using the term Team “Last Name”  as they told the stories of their family cleaning up after the storm or dealing in their own way with the inconveniences or even emergencies that they faced in the wake of the storm.

When the students returned to class we gave all the students the opportunity to tell their hurricane story, and reminded them that when they helped with work that needed to be done in or around the house they were practicing teamwork.  We also reminded them that every team member has a special skill and or responsibility to fulfill on the team, and how thankful they could be that their parents had kept them safe during this emergency.  They could rely on the team, just as the team relied on them.

While having an earthquake and hurricane in the same week was a bit disconcerting, we did get to practice teamwork – and even some of our word of the month in September; Self Reliance.

Life Skills: Teamwork – The Value of Contributing to “The Team”

Teaching character and life skills to students

Each one of us bring something special to the team that we are on.  Even on our most important team, the family, not all of us are going to be good at all things.  On every team there will those who play the role of encourager, compromiser, leader, clarifier, idea person, evaluator and recorder.

On small teams like your family, some may take on several roles as the team works towards a goal.  But the point is that one person should not need to take on all of the roles, because everyone can contribute something.  As a brief review let’s look at the different roles that can be played out on a team.

Encourager is the person who cheers the group on and finds ways to energize the group when motivation gets low.
Compromiser works on keeping the group harmonized.  They make sure that many in the group are heard and understood.
Leaders who must be careful not to dominate the group, while at the same time keeping them focused and on track to reach the goals of the group.
Clarifier is the person who can summarize where the group is at this time and looks to make sure the group reaches a consensus.
Idea person sees the big picture and is full of creative ways of getting there, while they may not be too good on the details.
Evaluator is the person who likes to think things over and does not reach a quick decision.  They will suggest and encourage looking at goals and solutions from different viewpoints.
Recorder is the person who loves to take the notes at a meeting and helps keep things moving, on time and schedule.

How can you contribute with your best?  Can you take on greater responsibility on a team?  In the family we can train our children to take on different roles as they work on seeing what they are the best at and how to use all of these skills.  It may start with simple day to day plans and later as they get older, having them help with vacation plans and other family goals.

Being on a team is important to our children feeling like they belong.  Belonging to a group is key to building their confidence which in turn will affect their ability to lead.  They will be less likely to succumb to bullying behavior and to stand up for others who are being picked on.  Teaching teamwork at home builds happy family units, stronger students and future adults.