A Classroom Activity for Teaching Teamwork and Networking (with instructional plan and handout)

In response to a recent Edublogger.com Edublogs Club prompt, I’ve decided to feature some pictures of my students participating in one of my classroom’s monthly Classroom CEO instructional activities.

In a previous post, I described my first experience in my monthly collaborative
teaching efforts with Phil Webb, owner of Webb Concrete. Planning and teaching monthly instructional sessions with Phil have made me think differently about students’ academic, collegiate, and workplace needs. So I’ve begun to make some changes.

Phil, who works in numerous statewide organizations in addition to his company responsibilities, recently squeezed in a visit with me between a trip to the Alabama/Clemson national title game, the inauguration of the 45th President, and a number of other business trips. Yes…with me. I’m no Trump, and I certainly haven’t won anything worthy of national recognition, but because I have an influence on something of much greater value every day, Phil visited me, and he does it every month.

What is my treasure, you ask? My students. Phil Webb and other local businessleaders and CEOs participating in Oxford High School’s Classroom CEO program understand the immense value of tomorrow’s workers and business and community leaders. I’d argue that Phil sees greater value in investing in human capital than financial capital. People — students — matter.

December’s topic was teamwork, but because of a limited calendar Phil and I decided to merge that class session with January’s, at which we were to present a lesson on networking. “These correlate, don’t they?” we thought. So he and spent about 45 minutes exchanging his business experiences and my educational experiences in teamwork and networking.

His typical response after such a discussion goes something like this: “Okay, so now we’ve got to come up with some activity that can make them think. Something they can understand and remember. Something to get them interested and excited.” That’s when the real fun begins for me.

This month Phil and I decided to come up with an activity in which students are divided into teams. Each team is given a real-life teamwork/networking objective: e.g., building a house, finding comforts and needs when moving to a community, finding a criminal suspect, being successful in college, etc. The activity attempts to simulate real-life networking by providing individual students fictitious personal profiles with which they are to introduce themselves to one another at the beginning of the class session. After this, the teacher or Classroom CEO (This was Phil’s time to teach and shine, and boy did he!) teaches about the value of teamwork and networking, giving tips and sharing vivid personal experiences. In the remainder of the time, students work with their group to try to recall who they have met and see if they can fulfill their individual objectives within the team. If students fail to communicate effectively or  meet and greet other students who could satisfy their networking needs, they fail their team. The winning team or teams are those who work together and network the fastest to meet their objectives.

Check out the documents in this post for the teacher’s instructional guide (which includes individual sheets to hand out to students in a 30-student roster) and a six-page team-by-team objectives overview.

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How important do you think it is to intentionally teach students soft-skills? Have you recently taught a lesson and have materials you’d like to share with me or S’more English blog readers? Pass along your experiences and, by all means, share whatever resources or links from which we could benefit.

 

 

 

 

 

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