Teaching Teamwork, Delegation, & Prioritization

When talking to my team about teamwork and delegation, I often read a Justice League story or just reference the characters. I discuss how Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Flash, Green Lantern, and Aquaman all have different powers/talents/interests/abilities. However, when they put their powers together, they are better crime fighters than any one of them alone.

EVERYONE DOESN’T HAVE TO DO EVERYTHING! You can delegate tasks and assign the best people for each job. Your verbal people should write the story. Someone else can paint or make costumes. Someone else can build the set. Your organized person can help with the project plan and budget. Your more strategic minds should be in charge of the tournament forms. Everyone should figure out a way to contribute to the team, but everyone doesn’t have to participate in each aspect of the project. It is okay to work in pairs or smaller groups on elements of the project. (Remember – that there is so much to be done…. most people will get to do lots of different jobs! But kids need to be given permission to not be a part of everything.)

Here is what I did with my team:

  1. We read through the challenge together
  2. We made a list of all the requirements in one columns (i.e. set; costumes)
  3. In the second column, the write down what they want to make (i.e. two trees and a cave; 1 owl costume, 3 wolf costumes; 1 snake costume)
  4. People decide what they are going to work on and write their name by that item. (this is just an initial draft… kids will float from task to task. they will get bored or want to try something different or work with a different person… this is all okay. But it helps to start with some structure even if you don’t actually follow through on it)
  5. I stand there and watch the kids work. When I see someone get off task, I invite them to come over and look at our board and see what needs to be done. They can choose to help some of the kids who are currently working on something or they can select an item off the list that hasn’t been started yet.
  6. The list helps with prioritization. We star or circle the things that 1) are worth the most points, 2) will take the most time, 3) need to be completed before something else can be done (for example, the story needs to be written before you can do costumes, set, props, etc.)
  7. Through out this process, I often remind them that like the justice league, we are all contributing to the larger goal by completing our part. It only works if everyone follows through on their piece.

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