Why do we need team leaders and what is involved when I volunteer to be a Team Leader?
This information is relevant to Year 5 – 8 teachers who might want to have a go at being a team leader. It has come to my attention that we haven’t really put it out there about what is involved in this role. So here goes …
The numbers who register in any one term can vary greatly. For Term 1 2020 we have 43 teachers already signed up from 34 different schools.
Having used Edmodo as our number one place to connect, we have learnt over the years that a maximum of 6 classes is ideal for this platform. If we place more classes than this in a team the Edmodo groups get too cluttered and full and the students get lost! We have found the smaller number of classes helps to ensure that connecting and collaborating online is manageable. For example, replying to students’ posts in Edmodo can be daunting if there are too many kids. This means at this stage I am looking to organise at least 7 teams each with a leader. This is why we need team leaders!
The team leader role is mainly about communicating! After I have created the teams I let the team leaders know who is in their team; their school, email, and twitter handle if they have one. From this point onwards the team leader is their contact point.
The team leader needs to email their team, introduce themselves, and remind everyone of the chapter breakdown. The main job now is to set up an Edmodo group and guide your team members as to how to sign up. It would also be worth asking your team what other platforms they might like to use to connect. As a team leader myself, I often have a Flipgrid open for my team and we have also used Padlets for particular activities. To ensure some real-time connectedness happens, as a leader, you could initiate some Google Hangouts or Zoom meetings between students.
The team leader will often create an activity roster. This is done to make sure all the teachers in the team contribute to the literacy activities the kids in their team can do; as opposed to a team leader being expected to do this. The roster will usually have each teacher allocated a week where they come up with the literacy activity for that week and post it in the Edmodo groups for all the students.
The last job of the team leader is modelling responding regularly to ALL students in Edmodo. When students are having their discussions in Edmodo, it is really important that ALL teachers go into the groups regularly and involve themselves in the literary discussion that the students are having – especially the team leader.
Weekly communication is the key!
Hope this helps.