I attended our first team retreat on Thursday.
It was great.
Informative, illuminating, honest, productive, and thoughtful.
I could tell some people were not that into it.
For them, it may have felt like a re-hash of the obvious.
There were times that devolved into complaining-about-barriers-beyond-our-control session.
My favorite part was a sorting activity.
Not because of the activity, but because of how it played out.
We split into two teams.
I was paired with one person.
The other three formed the second team.
We were given a page of words.
The assignment was to sort the words into any categories we wanted.
It's a cool activity.
I've done it before in other contexts and I really like it.
I have used a version of it in my classroom.
I want to use a version of it in a professional development session later this year.
But that isn't why I was so pleased with this moment.
It was because the two of us, who are virtual strangers, worked together seamlessly.
Without any discussion, she started cutting and I started sorting.
As soon as she finished cutting, she started labeling my initial categories.
We barely spoke for the first ten minutes.
Instead, we shifted words around.
It felt so effortless.
Once we had finished the initial sort, we refined.
We talked about and revised our categories.
We shifted words around.
The categories we created were question based.
It wasn't a conscious decision or conversation.
Questions just felt right.
Our facilitator was floored.
She had never seen it done that way before and thought it was incredibly creative.
We weren't trying to be special.
It just happened that way.
Hearing compliments from the others in the room was nice.
Working well with a new teammate was awesome.
It is a good thing to know that collaboration seems to come quite naturally.
I feel like that bodes well for our working relationship.