naida1When I was a high schooler, the Chicago Bulls were arguably the best team in NBA history. I dreamed of what it would be like to watch a team of women dominate the game and how that would change the world. Fast forward to 2015 when The Minnesota Lynx brought home their third WNBA championship. It’s not just winning championships that I admire in the Minnesota Lynx (and the 1996 Chicago Bulls team of Jordan, Pippen and Rodman), it is the interplay of teamwork that I enjoy watching.


Forged Teamwork is like what we see in these two teams, a group of talented, experienced and skilled people movingnaida2 steadily in unity towards a common goal. There is often fire that shapes the team, just as the hardest steel is forged in the hottest fires, teams are forged and strengthened through struggles and triumphs. Forging teamwork produces unparalleled strength like metal in fire.


naida3Forged Teamwork requires vulnerability. Recently I was watching Order of the Phoenix and Harry was having a hard time allowing his friends (talented, trained and skilled in their craft) support his work. At one point, Hermione said: “When are you going to get it through your head? We’re in this together!,” she was forging their teamwork. When we experience struggles and triumphs, is when we need to have the courage to be vulnerable to forge or move forward steadily.


I have learned that success is determined by how the team is forged. Forged teams are teams built on trust and mutual respect where they learn together and support each other. They maximize strengths and support each other’s growth. Most importantly, teams of educators need to forge, or create, what is best for each student. When teachers and/or administrators have that forged teamwork like the Bulls, the Lynx or the Order of the Phoenix, everyone wins.


Naida Grussing-Neitzel is a committed educator and HS assistant principal in Minneapolis, MN.


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