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Appreciate Your Teammates!

Have you told your teammates recently how much you enjoy working with them? Middle grades teams like partnerships need to be nurtured, and everyone shares that responsibility!

One team leader I worked with would on occasion bring in muffins or a carnation for each of us.  This small gesture put a smile on our faces first thing in the morning, and the day seemed to go more smoothly.  It also served to say, “Each of you is important to this team and its success.”  When the team is functioning well, the students benefit.

It doesn’t take but a minute to say…

  • Thank you for helping me sort through that problem yesterday.
  • You know it’s really fun brainstorming with you all!
  • I appreciate your sense of humor!
  • I’m glad you are my teammates!

Random acts of kindness help build a strong sense of community within a team.

*Take a teammate’s duty when you know s/he is having a particularly stressful week.
*Bring flowers or fresh tomatoes and basil from your garden.
*Brush off cars when it snows during the school day.

*Bring in a funny cartoon to help folks laugh.

*Share a no-fail strategy that works across the curriculum.

*Bring in brownies or blueberry muffins for everyone–think of the antioxidants you will be providing your team.  Dark chocolate or blueberries!

Here’s a grand blueberry muffin recipe adapted from The Maine Collection, cookbook published by the Portland Museum of Art:

6 tbps of butter

1 1/2 cups sugar

2 eggs

1 tsp of vanilla

1/2 tsp salt

2 tsps baking powder

1/2 cup milk

2 cups blueberries (Maine wild blueberries are best (-:)

2 tsps each of cinnamon and sugar mixed to sprinkle over the top.

Cream butter and sugar well. Add the eggs and vanilla and beat well. Add flour, salt and baking powder. Slowly add the milk, stirring until just moistened.  (You do not want to over stir a muffin mix.) Add the blueberries and fold in gently.  Spoon into prepared muffin tin–either greased or with liners. Sprinkle cinnamon-sugar mix over each muffin cup.  Bake at 375º for 30 minutes.  Test with a toothpick–should come out clean.  Enjoy!

Take time in the next week to show appreciation for your team.  Don’t expect anything in return; just do it!  Continue–the next week, the week after, and the week after that….

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