I am also amazed at how well my teaching partner and I are beginning to learn the rhythms of each other. This is the first time we have worked together and the first time either of us have worked in a multi-space MLE. This first week has involved a lot of collaborative teaching; opportunities for us to jell as a teaching team, to enforce shared standards and behavioral expectations, but also to understand each others non-verbal cues. Cues for tag-teaching (reinforce me here), cues for support (please sort out that child), cues for our responses to a myriad of situations that arise when teaching excited new school children.
I am mindful of the stages of effective group formation: Forming, Storming. Norming, Performing (Bruce Tuckman, 1965). Therefore, I need to be careful not to crow too early. Our group as a New Entrant cohort and our group as a teaching team are both in their forming stages. I am grateful for all the insights I am learning about our students and my colleague during this time: the strengths they bring to the table. I need to consciously take note of these, to remember them, because inevitably the time for storming will come.
Little people will suddenly realise that school is not a novelty, it is every week M-F, 9-3, and they don't get to opt out. We teachers will become overwhelmed by life demands outside school, by paperwork, various behaviours, by that one child that we have yet to connect with on a real level. It is in the stress of those moments that perfect storms arise. Do we ever really know anyone until we have seen them in the storm? Can we ever really develop a close effective working relationship if we do not know how to weather those storms together?
Hold tight Team Kiwi, remember these first days of delight. We will develop strong working rhythms and we will grow to perform beyond our wildest expectations. It will be quite a ride - so hold on tight.
Tackman, Bruce (1965) Developmental sequence in small groups, Psychological Bulletin, Vol 63, No. 6, Pg 384-399