Strong relationship skills are must-haves in any social and emotional education. In order to teach our kids how to better value teamwork as well as their individual contributions in a group setting, we use this TEAM acronym.

Our Creed calls for teamwork—“ I am a friend. I support and trust. Working together is a must,” it says. But kids sometimes need more coaching to help them pitch in as a team player, and we find that introducing this TEAM acronym with easy-to-follow steps for kids helps:

T           Tell our strengths & weaknesses             
E           Express words kindly
A           Act as one…win together and lose together
M          Make sure everyone is included

One easy way we help our kids understand teamwork is through the example of sports. For example: On a basketball team, some kids might be expert dribblers but not good rebounders. Other kids might be great shooters, but they aren’t able to sink a lay-ups. Everyone contributes in their own way to help the team perform to the best of its ability.

We also help our kids see that teamwork is important outside of sports as well, and each time they have a project to do or an activity to complete, they should put this acronym to work to ensure they are acting as team players. If one person on the team tries to take control or run the show, the team will fail.

For example:  If kids are playing a fun game in the cafeteria and instead of acting like a team, kids start yelling at each other and fighting, it is important that we remind ourselves of the TEAM letters. In this situation, it would be important for kids to use the “E” to express their words in a kinder way in order for the game to be successful. 

This is but one of the many ways we bring our social and emotional lessons to life for our kids. Visit our website for more WINGS activities you can put to use.

"The most basic of all human needs is the need to understand and be understood. The best way to understand people is to listen to them."

- Ralph Nichols

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