5 Team Building Activities to Strengthen Culture Amongst School District Employees
School districts often have a very strong organizational culture with much of the staff and faculty treating each other as a second family. This is not surprising as everyone involved in your school district choses to come to work each day with the unified goal of shaping the next generation and ultimately making the world a better place. During an average school year this strong culture is often built naturally as employees interact with one another on a daily basis, sharing ideas and helping each other to grow both personally and professionally.
However, over the past couple of months the entire education ecosystem has been turned upside down with the sudden change to a remote working environment brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. Many of the conversations we have had with administrators recently have naturally been student centric as every school district has been struggling to provide the best overall education for their students as they continue to learn from home. What has been somewhat overlooked, however, is the importance of maintaining the strong culture that your administrators have worked hard to create among your faculty and staff during this unprecedented time.
Seeing this as a challenge, we have decided to share 5 effective team building activities that you and your employees can engage in remotely that will help your team to continue to foster a string connection to each other and your school district.
Virtual Fitness Classes
It’s no secret that remaining active comes with a slew of benefits for both the body and the mind. Many of the members of your staff likely engage in physical activities outside of work including weightlifting, CrossFit, and yoga. Being that many fitness spaces are still closed in many states, setting up virtual fitness classes open to your entire faculty and staff could be a great team building experience that also encourages a healthy lifestyle. If you have any fitness gurus or yogis on staff, reach out and ask if they would be interested in running the class for the rest of your team. Chances are they would be happy to share their passion with their coworkers as well as learn new skills from others.
Designated “Water Cooler Talk” Space
Many of the best ideas in your school may not have been brought up in a staff meeting, but in casual conversation or “water cooler talk” between employees. The switch to the virtual working environment has resulted in many of these conversations to be put on hold over the past couple of months, likely stifling much of the creativity among your employees. Designating a virtual channel specifically for “water cooler talk” could be an excellent way to continue to allow employees to build interpersonal connections with each other as well as plan initiatives that will contribute to the overall success of your students and your district.
Hosting a virtual trivia for your district staff could be an awesome idea for a team building activity because after all, who doesn’t like trivia? Your staff will likely enjoy the act of working alongside their coworkers remotely as a team, as well as the competitive nature that trivia brings to the table. When you organize trivia night, try to build up the teams with an equal number of teachers from each discipline such as history, math, and science to make the game as competitive as possible. To take it a step further, throw in some questions about the history of your city and school district to make the game really personal and fun for your staff!
Chances are that you have taken a Myers-Briggs assessment at some point in your life, possibly in a psychology class back in college or maybe just for fun on your own time. Having your school staff take the assessment and share their findings with the rest of their team over video chat can not only be a fun team building activity, but it can actually have some seriously beneficial impacts on how your team works together to achieve your district’s goals. Teams that understand each other’s motivation and working style often have a much easier time delegating work and communicating with one another. The best part is that the quiz is offered by 16 Personalities online for free here, so check it out!
“Do you REALLY know your team” activity
This activity is really fun and comes with many of the same benefits that the Myers-Briggs assessment can bring to your team’s ability to work together. To start, come up with a series of questions that you will ask all of the members of your staff to answer on their own about themselves. Examples of questions could include “where are you from?”, “what was your favorite class in high school?” or even “why did you want to become a teacher/administrator?”
Once everyone has had time to answer the questions, get your staff together on video and try to have the rest of your team guess the answers for each individual. Not only will this help build a strong interpersonal bond between your employees, but like the Myers-Briggs assessment, understanding people’s past experiences and what motivates them to succeed in your district can help everyone work more efficiently as a team.
To say things have been difficult over the past couple of months would be an understatement. However, there are many ways that you and your school staff can regain a sense of normalcy and continue to build and grow a strong organizational culture within your school district. From everyone here at Script, we sincerely appreciate all of the work educators have been putting in over the past couple of months to allow our school districts to continue to success, and we wish you a safe and happy start to the new school year!