Developing Effective Teamwork
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Many people will be familiar with the old cliché ‘there is no ‘I’ in team’, which reminds us all of the importance of working together, sharing responsibilities and maintaining a balance of the different roles within the team. Despite this every team does in fact begin with ‘I’, the ‘Individuals’ who come together to form the team and without whom the team cannot exist.
There is a need for individuals to be recognised in the first place as being a part of the team. The childminder who collects a child from nursery every afternoon continues to provide for that child’s learning and development within the same framework that any other childcare setting does. The speech and language therapist visiting a particular child in a setting once a week cannot be seen in isolation from the other aspects of care and support the child receives. In fact every individual who has an input into the child’s care, learning and development should be acknowledged as an equal participant to the work of the team. When this happens, the team can then progress to establish themselves as a ‘learning community’ where social learning takes place as a group of people share common goals.
Developing Effective Teamwork will support all types of childcare provision to develop a cohesive team where ‘Individuals’ share common values and beliefs and are working towards the same set of guidance and principles. Their place within the team is valued and individual needs, strengths and weaknesses are consistently identified and developed. Recognising the importance of a whole team approach to the EYFS Developing Effective Teamwork offers practical advice on how to motivate staff to embrace new approaches to their work. The book offers strategies and advice that can be applied to all areas of activity; in particular partnership working and continuous quality improvement.
ReviewEYP Matters (Essex County Council), Autumn 2010
By Linda Stewart – Early Years Professional and Graduate Training Adviser
Whilst the old adage states that there is no ‘I’ in team this book discusses the importance of the individual within a team of practitioners, parents, children and professionals from beyond the setting. It describes the transition period all teams go through during times of change, which with the constant flux of outside professionals, parents and children, often feels constant.
The two aspects I particularly liked were the recognition of how difficult it is for some parents to ensure that their voice is heard within the relationship at the early years setting. This book reminds practitioners about the importance of engaging effectively with parents and viewing them as an integral part of the team caring for their child.
The second aspect highlights the significance of listening to the child. How many practitioners ensure that the child’s views truly form part of the planning for their development? This aspect could be a change of culture for many practitioners and may not be easy to achieve effectively.
There is also a description of the differing job titles and roles that will be found within settings. There is a good description of the Early Years Professional (EYP) with emphasis on the importance of their ability to support others, reflective practice and leading change. The role of the Key Person and ‘attachment’ are also well illustrated.
This book is a slim volume and a relatively easy read. Its simple approach could be a timely reminder of the basics to those who have worked in early years for some time. It would also be very useful for those who are new to early years as it gives an overview of the role of the individual as part of the team.
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