My Role within Teamwork
Stacey (2009) suggests that self-awareness is an important element of successful teamwork. Reflect upon how the module sessions have developed your self-awareness and analyse how you can use this understanding of self to engage more effectively in teamwork in future professional contexts.
Teamwork is “The combined action of a group, especially when effective and efficient” (Oxford, 2018).
The term teamwork is used to describe a group of people who work closely together in order to achieve their goal. Everyone describes teamwork differently as there are many factors involved. Belbin (1981) suggests that “A team is not a bunch of people with job titles, but a congregation of individuals, each of whom has a role that is understood by other members”.
I strongly feel that being a member of a team has a different meaning to being ‘a-part’ of a team. A team member is someone who contributes and takes part in tasks, activities and responsibilities. Whereas, someone who is a-part of a team may be there, but will not always get involved or contribute.
Teamwork is vital in professional development, as it is key to maintain a successful outcome. Within a team there are many roles and responsibilities. The team roles included in Belbin’s theory are the resource investigator, team worker, co-ordinator, shaper, implementer, plant, specialist, monitor evaluator and the completer finisher. (Belbin, 1981). During one of the taught sessions I carried out Belbin’s team roles questionnaire so that I could identify easily what role I played in a team. On completion, I identified as a ‘team worker’. In the descriptions of Belbin’s team roles, it suggests that a team worker is co-operative, perceptive, and listens to and averts friction. (Belbin, 1981).
I would describe myself as a hardworking team member. As shown in the taught sessions I am eager to get involved when working towards completing a task. Working in a team requires various skills being brought together by different people when working towards a final goal. Working alongside other people is also an efficient way of sharing the work load so that the group are able to combine their individual strengths together to enhance the overall performance outcome.
Throughout the taught sessions for CS5002 my group and I carried out team work-based activities. One activity was the marshmallow challenge. This required us to work together in groups of four or five. The items we were given consisted of, tape, 20 pieces of spaghetti, string and one marshmallow. Our challenge was to work together in competition with other groups in the class to identify whose model was the tallest. Within each group, was an observer. Prior to the activity, it was each group’s task to choose someone who would observe the team carrying out the task and not take part in the challenge as such. As stated by the Oxford dictionary, an observer is “a person who follows events closely and comments publicly on them” (Oxford, 2018). On completion, the group came together and the observer shared any comments she had made throughout the time that the group were working on the given challenge. For this task, I was described as the implementer of the group.
Bruce Tuckman’s model of team stages was very useful on our write-up of this task. Within his model he explains in depth that when a team progresses, maturity and ability form. (Tuckman, 1965). I felt as though this did happen throughout the task. At a certain point, someone in the group suggested an idea, which happened to give a positive outcome. Therefore, this motivated the group more effectively to continue with the task as the model was actually getting closer to the finishing product.
As illustrated in the Oxford dictionary, self-awareness is “conscious knowledge of one’s own character and feelings” (Oxford, 2018).
(Stacey, 2009) suggests that “The term self-awareness is an important element of successful teamwork”. Self-awareness gives individuals the ability to adapt and change certain situations that may not be on track. The attribute is very important for achieving successful elements of education both in practice and during every day life. (Warmerdam, 2018).
Practitioners at early years settings such as nurseries, creches and schools consider self-awareness as a main factor within academic teaching. It is important for both practitioners and children to be aware of factors that may be unsteady or need altering. For example, at a setting it is important that a practitioner enhances a child’s concentration span by ensuring that they have the child’s attention before speaking to them. This can be done by going down to the child’s level and engaging with them using eye-contact.
By having self-awareness in what we do, these aspects can be developed, enhancing the overall outcome.
I am aware that self-awareness is not only vital for children to have, but also adults. Early Years settings such as nurseries, crèches and schools should have a team of practitioners who all consider self-awareness as a main factor of academic teaching. Practitioners do not only have to be self-aware of themselves and the children. However, they also have to be aware of each other and whether or not the children are engaging to their teaching styles. For example, throughout one of my experiences of working at a pre-school. There was one main teacher, and two teaching assistants in the class. I noticed very clearly that the teachers all worked very well together in terms of referring back and notifying each other on whether or not they thought the children were engaging appropriately within each session. This also shows that team work is important within early year’s settings, as without a well-coordinated team, practitioners would find it challenging to effectively and efficiently complete any tasks or problems that may occur during the day

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