2017-09-13 / School News

From the Desk of the Superintendent

Erich May, Morgan County Schools

Teamwork is the best work

“If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” I saw that on a sign in front of a church a couple years back, and it stuck with me.

In my first visits to the schools, I talked about the importance of openness and merit – doing things in daylight and doing what is best for students.

But teamwork is another essential component in an organization like Morgan County Schools. Working together, we are greater than the sum of our parts.

At the central office, we have directors who specialize in data, others who know more about instruction, others who take the lead with technology, and so on. It only makes sense to draw on all of our various strengths.

Teamwork yields the best results, and it produces the best results for the most people. At Pleasant View Elementary, for instance, the third, fourth and fifth grade teachers worked together to write a grant that funded a shared literacy unit around the R.J. Palacio book Wonder.

That kind of collaboration is seen within and among schools and agencies. Our preK program, for example, is the product of a partnership between Morgan County Schools, Head Start and Little Learners. With the support of local, state and federal dollars, our preK program is serving over 130 students this year.

In my experience, teamwork yields the best results, and more results, but sharing the load and the leadership also promotes ownership and accountability, and shared ownership and distributed leadership help to sustain the results.

Meanwhile, teamwork is good for learning and it is itself an important kind of learning. Any group of four people – adults or children – working together to solve a problem will end up teaching each other. We see that in the central office, and we see it in the classroom.

But the ability to cooperate, to be part of a team, to bring out the best in others – those are essential skills going forward. Whether you call them “soft skills” or “21st century skills,” they are sure to be important for all of our students, whether they enter the workforce, join the military or attend college.

Prospective employers are looking for evidence of teamwork, asking questions about teamwork, and even designing activities that engage applicants in teamwork as part of their screening and interviewing process.

Here at Morgan County Schools, teamwork is expected of students and employees alike, because we can go further together.

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Bravo Supt. May.

Bravo Supt. May.