Putting the ‘work’ in team work

5 Mar

“team work.” A charged phrase. What comes to mind for you? I’ve facilitated outdoor team building activities for the last 4 years and kids from 8 to 80 have thrown out the key words: trust, respect, leadership, cooperation, strategizing, encouragement, support… You know the list.

But what about ‘work’? As we reach the mid-point of our year in Baltimore, we’re all busy with our placements, and sometimes second jobs or family life. However, a major component of Public Allies, is a team service project- to put our training into practice together. All the MD Public Allies service project teams presented their projects and progress to the group 2 weeks ago. In project prep, we divided and conquered: Jon and Allen on Prezi prep (check it out!), Sharon and I finalized the project plan notes, others took photos, wrote background pieces and prepared a rap with which to end the presentation. We made a great showing as a team.

But what about the project itself? Our project’s focus is parent engagement at the Augusta Fells High School for the Visual Arts- a public turn-around community school in West Baltimore. The project was our second choice, and it was difficult to know how we’d integrate ourselves into the school which none of us had a relationship with before the somewhat daunting project of involving parents we didn’t know into a school we didn’t know. No small obstacle to doing as Americorps has us do, which is “get things done.”

With our pretty presentation all done, it’s time for our team to figure out in what ways we’ll take action on a short term project with many barriers to community investment. We have a wonderful, engaged social worker guiding our project within the school but there is no grade, no grant money to be lost, and no boss: no one to truly hold us accountable to completion but one another.

Henceforth I’ll be keeping y’all posted on this blog- here’s to modern social media accountability!

Because we’ve got the team- all we now need is to do the work.


One Response to “Putting the ‘work’ in team work”

  1. imdelgado March 7, 2012 at 9:59 am #

    I so appreciate this post, Laura! The TSP that the Bridgeport, CT PAs are working on has been one of the most challenging but also rewarding experiences I’ve ever undertaken. I’m planning to write a post on it soon, and I appreciate you taking the lead here. Best of luck and can’t wait to hear more about it!

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