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Team Roles

Team Roles


In this lesson, students analyze the most common roles of members on a school based leadership team.

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Membership on School Leadership Teams

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Hello there, and welcome. I'm so glad you could join me. In this lesson, we will look closely at some of the more common roles that members of school-based leadership teams take. I'm sure you've heard of many of these titles before. Now it's time to learn exactly what they do. So let's get started.

I've often used sports as an analogy for some of the topics we've covered because of the collaborative nature of teams. But sports isn't the only place where you can find that. I was recently lucky enough to see a fifth grade musical production, and it was amazing. Being a chaperone backstage gave me an incredible insight into how all the moving parts of the cast and crew work together to pull off a memorable show. And it all starts by putting the right people in the right place to succeed.

For instance, the stage crew needs to move quickly. The lighting and sound team has to be able to communicate. The onstage talent needs to memorize lines. And the costume crew must be organized and resourceful. All these people, working together, for a common purpose.

Shared leadership is more than just an educational buzzword. It's very much how many organizations, including schools, operate today. Of course, the buck stops at the building principal, who's ultimately responsible and held accountable for the teams and plans within their building. However, it's still important that any team within a school identifies a leader. But members typically have equal and shared responsibilities, as well.

Let's start at the top with the chairperson or the facilitator. Here's a checklist of some of their most important tasks and responsibilities. This person's main job is to keep the team organized, which can sometimes be a very difficult task. But in order to do that, they're also responsible for creating an agenda with input from team members, sending out that agenda, and reminders and due dates as well.

Transparency is very important. So they also need to share meeting agendas, minutes, and progress with the principal and other relevant stakeholders. Their responsibilities go beyond keeping everyone on task during meetings. They also need to keep things moving by holding members accountable for actions and deadlines. If there is data collection and review of progress that leads to any associated revisions, it's on them to ensure that it happens.

In order to fulfill the role of chairperson, one must be very organized and motivated and demonstrate respect for the rest of the team. Oftentimes, an individual is afraid of becoming overwhelmed, so they share the role with someone else.

The recorder or secretary of the team has the important job of taking notes and sharing the minutes with the appropriate people. Ensuring that everyone has access to those notes lends to the team's integrity and helps keep members informed and accountable. The recorder must be organized and have the ability to capture important details of the meeting.

A role that can be more difficult than it sounds is that of timekeeper. Their job is to make sure that meetings start and stop on time. They're also in charge of monitoring the time for each agenda item. This means that they sometimes have to make difficult decisions in terms of tabling topics for a later date.

Without members, you have no team and plans cannot be implemented. The likelihood of tasks being completed increases when those team members are assigned to specific action steps. It also helps if team members have an expertise in the area of implementation. For example, if your school is starting a new science program that addresses the next generation science standards, you would want individuals who are well-versed in those standards. Team members are very much like our state senators and representatives in that they represent the interests of the constituency, and communicate what has occurred at meetings, and are responsible for carrying out actions and plans.

Team communicators need to be articulate and have the ability to answer questions and share important information about the initiative and the progress toward meeting the goals with the stakeholders. These individuals can be the face of your team and should have a positive rapport with the parents, teachers, and administrators that are impacted by the initiative that the team is working on.

Keep in mind that the roles I described here are general in nature and can be assigned to members of any team. When constructing a team, here are some considerations to remember. How many members are needed? What groups need to be represented? For example, parents, teachers, students, and so on. What skills and knowledge do members of the team need? What is the team's primary focus? Relationships amongst members in teams is also very important. What is expected in terms of time commitment? And the credibility of the team members is also extremely important.

So here's a quick recap of what we covered in this video. We looked at the many team roles that make a complete and successful team. And they are the chairperson, a recorder, timekeeper, the general membership, communicators. We also discussed other considerations to keep in mind when building a team.

And now for today's food for thought. Reflect on teams that you've been a part of. Which roles have you represented? As you reflect on how this new information can be applied, you may want to explore the additional resources section that accompany this video presentation. This is where you'll find links to resources chosen to help you deepen your learning and explore ways to apply your newly acquired skill set. Thanks again for watching. We'll see you next time.

Notes on "Membership on School Leadership Teams"

(00:00-00:16) Intro

(00:17-01:00) Production

(01:01-01:23) Shared Leadership

(01:24-02:25) Chairperson

(02:26-03:04) Recorder/Time Person

(03:05-03:42) Team Members

(03:43-04:10) Team Communications

(04:11-04:44) Team Makeup

(04:45-05:34) Summary/Food For Thought

Additional Resources

School Leadership Team Basics

This document from Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools in North Carolina details the roles and responsibilities of the members on a school leadership team.

Chapter 1: Planning and Preparing for Faculty Meetings

This chapter from Leading Effective Meetings, Teams, and Work Groups in Districts and Schools by Matthew Jennings reveals strategies for holding productive faculty meetings. The strategies include norm setting and the use of team structures.