Inside the GOTR Curriculum Part 2
Connecting With Your Team and Others
By the fifth week of practice, we are coming together as a team. The girls know who is in which grade and who has which teacher. They are learning who loves to share out loud when we are processing the lesson topics, and who prefers to write their answers down quietly. The girls know who likes to run fast and who prefers to sometimes walk. They have a favorite person to circle the track with and a favorite place to sit. In many ways, we are settling into a routine as a family.
One of the first true team-building activities the girls participate in is our lesson on cooperation. In order to “win” the game, we have to figure out a way to meet the challenge as a group, instead of as an individual. The girls have to move around a circle without letting teammates lose their balance, or make their way under a turning jump-rope without getting tagged. This can be really stressful for the team! It is not uncommon to hear “Hey! You messed us up!” and “Wait – I don’t understand!” Or: “That’s not fair!” After multiple tries, and once all voices are heard, a strategy typically emerges. “Hey, let’s all link arms.” “What if we count before the next person goes?” And then: “That’s a good idea! And “Yay! We did it!”
We go through lessons and games on standing up for your values and beliefs, standing up for others, ending gossip, bully-awareness, and choosing your friends. We learn how important it is to seek out healthy relationships and how to recognize when they are not healthy any longer. We talk a lot about how we have the power to make decisions that elevate us, or drag us down. And we celebrate each other for the instances where we are able to stand up for each other and make our team stronger.
As in the month before, we run laps and work out and jump around and have a snack. We are running and walking for longer stretches of time and will soon meet to practice running a full three miles. We continue to end each lesson with our “energy awards.” By now, there are a few group favorites: the banana, paparazzi, the mullet. When a girl raises her hand and wants to recognize a friend for being a good listener, or for inspiring her to run a little farther, or for doing something that made the group great, I am not at all surprised. That’s what teams do for each other, and we have definitely become a team.