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Society for Excellence in Education

Synergy, Co-operation, Synchrony, Harmony, Participation, Exchange, Contribution, Dependence, and many such terms define how we, as one of the species on this planet, along with all the others – including animals, plants, insects, reptiles, mammals, viruses, bacteria, play together, to make this blue ball and life on it, rolling and thriving.

All these terms are so universal and ingrained in the successful execution of all the species, including ours, that between them and within each of them, as individual groups, the “TEAM-WORK” is what sums it up all.

Nature has millions of such examples of dependency, teamwork, mutual benefit derivation that we don’t get to observe and appreciate.

We always see a long-distance flight of birds in the V formation. Canada Geese, while migrating long distances, change leadership roles. If the leader at the front gets tired or sick, another goose takes its place thus ensuring the formation keeps intact.

The Langur is a type of monkey, found in central India. The Chital deer are also found in India. The Langurs, with their great eyesight, keep a look-out from the trees while the Chital with an impressive sense of smell, watch out for predators on the ground. The deer also eat fruit that the Langurs drop from the canopy.

In African plains, Zebras and Wildebeests band together to avoid predators. On the Serengeti, these two herbivores graze together without getting competitive. Zebras like to eat longer, tougher grasses while wildebeests prefer shorter, more tender specimens on the top. They protect each other from predators while being in large numbers and forming a protective cover for the group.

We as a species, have grown to be more than the sum of its parts only because of all the terms mentioned at the beginning. We have been able to achieve and build upon the other’s work and build together with others, only because we could Synergise, Co-operate, Synchronise, Harmonise, Participate, Exchange, Contribute, Depend on each other……Trust each other. Inside our bodies, the story is no different.  Our own physical survival also depends on the same set of terms, followed like a clockwork by our own organs, systems, and parts to make a success story out of us.

The first steps –  from the tree to the ground, the ground to a cave, an expedition of a hunt, catching a fish, fighting predators ten times larger than us, living in groups, dwelling caves, making a family, a house, a ghetto, a village, creating language, learning to farm, grow food, make trade, make society, create a method of art, transfer knowledge, skills, cultures, styles, languages, build on someone’s half left curiosity and completing it as a theory or an observation or a study; to invent, to discover, to create, build, a wheel, a tool, machine, a cycle, a vehicle, steam engine, conveyor belt, a combustion engine, a car, a computer, a super computer, a bridge, a house, a skyscraper, a colony, a country, a rocket, a spaceship,  the Hubble telescope, to flying in outer space, to the moon, landing on to Mars, reaching Venus, Jupiter, Saturn, to Pluto – all of these have been possible because we have been more than the sum of our parts, by being together working together as a team with extremely important and critical contributions from individuals, as well as groups, working together for common goals.

Such is the charm of teamwork, which is present in nature and its living beings for all of us to see. Without this teamwork, nothing would have survived or grown the way it has, on the planet, including Us.

In simple terms, as individuals, we come together in groups and convert the groups into teams by consciously or subconsciously practicing, one or many such virtues.  We are able to make ourselves more than the sum of our parts and form a TEAM, to collaborate and achieve things that may not have been possible working in an individual capacity as individuals or as a species.

Good teamwork plays a crucial role in implementing and fulfilling common goals, quicker and better, as compared to an individual trying to achieve it. Every team member plays his or her particular role and takes on different responsibilities, which combined together can make the team function well and achieve a common goal.

Coming closer to home, during the difficult times of 2020, an unprecedented change took place at Vidya valley. In its history, nothing like this had ever been thought, conceived, or approached. The Pandemic, got us all to change the very nature of pedagogy and means of teaching.

No one, including teachers, the school management, the students, parents and the office had any experience of how to deal with such a change.

With very little to no experience of online teaching, no exposure to software, PPTs, Word, Excel, online exams, google sheets, the system was new, untested, and immature.

Our team at Grade 3 was no different! Fighting the struggles of toppling cameras, shutting screens, fading microphones, inconsistent internet, unannounced window updates, Google teams, eSchool portal class, Cntrl C, Cntrl X, Cntrl S, crashing laptops, shutting phones, dying batteries, sudden power cuts, hospitalizations, the juggernaut of CLASS & KITCHEN started humming.

Our team was like the Bits & Pieces Team. No one was complete. The beauty of this was that each one was enjoying the fight to cope up, laughing, giggling, determined, dog-headed, raring, excited, open, approachable, participative, and much more.  Each of the bits and pieces started to find their place in a structure which evolved through time and made their slot where they could fit without boundaries, available to fit in another slot, when work, time, need, or struggles demanded of us.

Through many acts of teamwork, our grade 3 teachers group, realized the challenges and acted to evolve into understanding our specific roles, taking pride in collective motives while respecting individuality. We practiced freedom with unspoken trust and belief for a greater good and walked along these 2 years. We faced it as a TEAM and the success feels like MAGIC.

You see, MAGIC gets us in awe due to the perception of its impossibility – till you learn it.

TEAMWORK got us through 4.5 billion years + 2.

 

-Alpa

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