It is a joy for us to provide opportunities for our staff to learn and develop personally. In the school, for example, we are not only interested in the education of the children, but in the continued development of their teachers. Due to the Plateau’s isolated location, the teacher’s do not have access to classes and seminars for their own interests like they would in the cities.
In addition to running a great English camp for the school children, the team from Pine Grove Community Church also invested in our teachers. As you may already have seen, they did a fun class on how to bake a cake. However, they also planned some important sessions on team building:
They started out with the famous (or infamous, depending on your experience) trust fall:
Way too easy right?
So, Jeff upped the ante a bit….
Despite some failure to remain “straight as a board,” the teachers had a great time and were able to pull some insights out of their experience.
As a second activity, the teachers were required to disentangle themselves out of a human knot…
…without letting go of the scarves.
Hopefully, they were able to internalize the value of communication, patience, helping one another, and—as teacher Obed repeatedly pointed out—common sense.
On this day, the teachers’ teamwork was put to the test through an activity in which only their leader—in this case, Mèt Osselet—knew the rules of the game. I’ll let you in on the secret: the four stipulations were 1. Everyone enters the gazebo, 2. The GROUP AS A WHOLE must touch all the paper plates (numbered 1-30) IN ORDER, 3. Each person must touch at least one number, and 4. Everyone must exit the gazebo.
As you may be able to tell from Wiltha’s puzzled stance, they weren’t immediately successful.
It took a few tries to get it right. Then, their challenge became to do it in a diminishing time frame—first reaching goals set by themselves, then aiming for a time goal set by Jeff. Their toughest goal was 40 seconds.
This picture of “Almaïs, the flying blur” being frantically directed by Obed gave us a good laugh. (Almaïs is not a teacher, as you know, but he participated in the activities along with them).
Here is their moment of victory (they made it in 33 seconds, shattering their last record by 8 seconds):
As they worked together to achieve their objective, it was fascinating to observe the unique qualities of different individuals come out. Some were strong leaders; others were obedient followers. Some had great ideas. Some cheered their group on, raising everyone’s spirits and refusing to be discouraged.
There were also, of course, negative attributes that emerged as well. Some were very defensive when they made a mistake. Some had a negative attitude. Some complained; some blamed.
Once the activity was completed, everyone sat down and discussed the things they had observed—the important components of successful teamwork; the qualities they saw emerge in one another; even the question of who may have been the weakest link, based on overall attitude and contribution to the team!
These quality times with our staff are invaluable. Not only do they offer opportunities for our employees to grow and improve personally, but they demonstrate that we care about them and who they are.
Thank you Pine Grove, for investing in our staff!