Team building may sound like something an unknowing manager may suggest as a way of compensating for his or her ability to meld a team and have them work together. Are teachers also to blame when students are unable to work as a team and set up a positive classroom environment? Of course they are, but teachers and professors have an advantage because mostly all their students wish to be in the class, which means the students are more amenable to something such as a team building exercise. In addition, since a professor/teacher doesn’t have to deal with student turnover in the way that a manager has to deal with staff turnover, it is possible to set up team building exercises during the beginning of a semester and subsequently enjoy the benefits throughout the year that the students are together.
1 – Removing The Need For Competition
There are some classes and some student segments that are highly competitive in what becomes a very negative way. For example, there are maths classes where students purposefully sabotage their peers in order to lower the curve. Team building may help students see other students as people rather than as obstacles to their success.
2 – Creating Competition
Contrary to the point made above, there are some subjects and areas where competition is healthy. Science classes are a good place for student competition because it encourages students to stretch their limits and become a little more adventurous/creative when coming up with projects.
3 – Allowing Students To Enjoy Classes
When students get along, it makes the whole classroom experience more fun. Imagine a class where everybody is quiet and low energy…it isn’t a nice atmosphere. Get your students talking and get them making friends, and they become more inclined to enjoy classes, even if the subject matter is a little dull.
4 – Helping Students Hone Their Skills Through Cooperative Practice
Sports classes and physical education classes rely heavily on team cooperation. Team-building exercises help students learn by cooperating, which in turn helps them to hone their skills. Sports and Physical education classes are great places for students to learn from each other. This is especially true with almost any type of sports training because when good players play good players, then they mutually improve each other.
5 – Creating Positive Learning Events
Help students associate learning in a class with a fun and positive event. In other words, team building may help turn classes from soulless lectures into social events. Obviously, this concept can go too far, but that is mostly a problem for high school classes where students are there because they are forced to be there. When it comes to college and university, students have chosen to be there, which means they are mostly focused on learning. Creating a sociable environment shouldn’t lead to an excess of disruptive events. Even if a few disruptive events occur, they will probably be fun and high points of the class rather than an excuse for a teacher to chastise a student (as teachers so often have to do in High School classes).
6 – Keeping The Students Engaged By Grabbing Their Attention
There are some classes that are boring. It is just a fact. Geology teachers often try to set practical demonstrations and group projects because the source material can be a little try. Team building may help the students meld a little better during practical demonstrations, which may also help grab their attention because they feel a little less isolated.
7 – Interpersonal Relationships May Be A Class Requirement
Classes such as drama and theatre arts are going to demand interpersonal relationships between class members. Team building may help students get off to a flying start so that students may get right into learning and cooperating. Hosting a class full of shy and nervous students is okay in some cases, but it is a mood killer in drama and theater arts classes. Such classes require a lack of social barriers in many cases, which is far harder to do if the class doesn’t feel part of the group.
8 – Creating A Friendly Environment Where Students Are Free To Ask Questions
Toxic environments often come around when aggressive students are able to isolate others in the room. Team building makes it difficult for students to isolate others, which helps create a friendlier environment. A teacher or professor has to handle his or her class in a very careful way, even if doing so allows a little bullying to take place. Students need to create a pecking order in class, or they will do it outside class, (unsupervised). Let the students create a pecking order in a friendly environment, and things are far less likely to become toxic later down the line. A clever teacher will be able to challenge the worst forms of bullying by opening the room up to discussion. A clever teacher won’t even need to defend the bullied person, nor have others defend the bullied person, by simply exposing the insult for the sticks-and-stones set of words that they are.
9 – Locate The Barriers That Destroy Creativity
Team building may actually help a teacher or professor identify the barriers that destroy creativity, which includes identifying the aggressive or bullying students who may cause others to keep their thoughts and ideas to themselves.
10 – Improves Organizational Productivity
Teach them how to team build in class so that they don’t have to figure it out for themselves when they are set group projects. There are times when students will need to work together for projects, and if the students are already bonded, the process will go a lot more smoothly.
11 – Creating A Classroom Dynamic
History and philosophy classes should be a free forum of thoughts and ideas, and team building can help achieve that by allowing students to feel comfortable voicing their thoughts in front of friends. As different classes bond, they create their own dynamic, which will hopefully make students less reclusive and shy. A teacher or professor may also use such a student dynamic to keep the class active and engaged, which is easy when students are actively engaged in a positive classroom dynamic.