Day 96 (of 184) not all teams are equal
Together Everyone Achieves More – a popular acronym for TEAMwork. But not all teams are equal and not everyone is a ‘fit’ for every team. Another lesson from the NFL that I think connects with education an school teams…
First the coach/principal (C/Ps) – the figurehead of leadership, but by no means ‘the’ leader of the team. Some C/Ps are very rule oriented fining people who are late for meetings. Others blare rap music at practice to keep everyone loose. Both styles can be effective, but depending on who else is part of the team, both styles can also be disastrous. Their styles also have to work with the team – wrong coach with wrong team is a fired coach; same coach with a different team and you’re going to the superbowl. Not that any one is ‘better’ or ‘worse’ – just different and their styles will be appreciated differently.
Coordinators/Teachers (C/Ts) sometimes more famous than their C/P and yet sometimes flourish with one, and languish with another. Their styles are unique. Sometimes they get more blame (or credit) than they deserve but they get to get their hands dirty playing with the play calls/lesson plans, evaluating and assessing players/students (more below) and play a vital role in the feedback loop adjusting their plan regularly in order to be more successful on the next series!
Position Coaches/Support Staff (PC/SSs) also very valuable. Working with small groups as part of the ‘bigger picture’. Helping reinforce and focus on fundamentals (and often with the guidance of the coordinators).
Players/Students (P/S) balancing practice time and game time but always ‘most important’. They receive instruction. Their practice guides instruction. Sometimes some are better at practice; sometimes some only shine in game time situations. C/Ta and PC/SSs strive to always make them get better each play/day until they can’t anymore and the P/S moves on (retirement or graduation).
Season Ticket Holders/Parents have a vested interest in how the team does. Sometimes forming committees to support (or critique) what is happening ‘on the field’. Okay maybe not a perfect analogy but a work in progress…
Casual Fan/Community has an interest in what is happening – sometimes getting involved (volunteering as 1:1 readers or as ushers) but not feeling quite as connected as some others…
General Manager/Superintendent- responsible for ‘the big picture’ from recruitment to the ‘results on the field’ – even is they have very little direct contact with the P/Ss.
Whew. Overall whether it is a school or a football team, there is a lot of organization and actions that go on beyond ‘the final product’ – be it a championship game or a report card (or portfolio, depending on your current emphasis). But be aware that sometimes ‘a’ person may excel in one team situation and struggle in another. It’s about getting all the right pieces/people together at just the right time – because that is when magical seasons/years can happen!
But one thing that is in common is that the best ‘teams’ in football or in education allow leaders to rise up when their leadership is needed. Star P/Ss have the opportunity to guide the instruction and have a strong role in the feedback loop that leads to greatest success on the field AND in the classroom. And sometimes stars shine brightest when you least expect it! It’s a funny game that way!