Why Is Good Teamwork so Important in
Early Childhood Education?
This Team Would Be Great If Everyone Else Would Just . . .
Are you thinking, “I’m willing to work with other adults, but sometimes they
aren’t willing to work with me. If other people would just change!” Do you
ever wish others would
Do things without being asked
Do what you ask
Do things the way you do them
At times, all of us wish that other people would change how they carry out
their job responsibilities. Some people probably think that about you too.
Ouch! Yes, many of us are set on changing other people. But here’s what I
know: you can change diapers, but you can’t change people.
One of the interesting things about the concept of teamwork is that
people typically think that if everybody else would do what they were suppose
to do, they’d have a good team. “If she would just put the glue back.”
becoming a team player
Think of it like this: in your environment, the team of adults you work with
and the children you serve are like a family. Children look to you for their
physical and emotional safety. They may not know that at home their parents
aren’t getting along, but they can sense discord in their environments. The
same is true for their early childhood team: when the adults aren’t working
well as a team, the care and education of the children is not as excellent as it
could be. Children can sense the tension and that’s not good for them or you.
Being a good team doesn’t mean that there won’t be disagreements at
times or different points of view. It’s normal and good for centers and schools
to continually question and discuss how the program should run. What’s
important is how you share your differences, resolve the issues, and represent
your team despite your different perspectives.
Just as children can sense dissonance among adults, they can also sense
harmony. When you are laughing with your coteachers in the presence of the
children, having a good time and communicating well, the children benefit
from the positive environment, and you accomplish the work. How you con-
duct yourself and interact with others on your team is one of the most effective
teaching tools you have. It is much more effective than gluing cotton balls onto
a sheet of construction paper. You try to teach children lots of lessons, and
what is more fundamental than role-modeling how to get along with others?