By Elena Kotsovos
According to Andrew Carnegie, teamwork is the ability to work together toward a common vision. We have all heard the quote “There is no ‘I’ in the word ‘team’.” This was certainly the case when students and staff of The International School of Paphos (ISOP) celebrated Outdoor Classroom Day on May 23. ‘Together everyone achieves more’ was the motto of our outdoor activity day this academic year.
In her article “Effective Teamwork in Schools”, Amanda Stovall mentions that teachers working together and helping each other create an atmosphere of cooperation that improves student performance and work morale.
At ISOP, the practice of team-building, where students collaborated and interacted with each other, whilst keeping a collective goal in mind, led them to the discovery of architecture. Andreas Daniel, the founder of Junior Architects, developed a phenomenal project for our primary school pupils. Students had the opportunity to create structures using their imaginative ideas which were inspired by their favourite animals.
The structures looked alike externally but they were unique internally, thus unfolding imaginary worlds and giving rise to our ‘Animal City.’
This architectural project afforded ISOP’s children the opportunity to soar beyond the classroom, while embracing the school-wide theme of teamwork.
Students of various ages worked together, inspiring each other, to experience a different angle on the learning experience, moving from an individual adventure towards a collaborative one. Student engagement increased, friendships were established and social skills prevailed. The children actively listened to each other, articulated their ideas and consequently could make valuable contributions to the project.
It was evident how diligently the teams performed in attaining their goal, resulting in various educational benefits of the unfolding teamwork. Outdoor Classroom Day was wonderful innovation to the normal class routine and enticed the children, while out of the classroom, into a whole new environment of learning.
“I can do things you cannot; you can do things I cannot – together we can do great things.” Mother Teresa.
The words of this extraordinary lady resonated in our school on May 23. Together the students achieved significant things, the teams succeeded and everyone shared the glory!
Elena Kotsovos is head of primary at The International School of Paphos