I hate the term, “team player”. Mostly, I think, because I’m not one; I play very well with myself. I also have a serious distaste for jargon.
I’m beginning to like teams, though. Not the sports variety, the educational variety. Inspired by my triplets, I have lately been applying myself to the task of re-arranging the classes put together by idiot businessmen who are concerned with making money at the expense of education. Most of the time, this has required begging. I’m not above it.
I now have some very nice little groups. My Chinese bugger-of-a-class is now all girls, all of approximately the same age and level of English. Finally, they’re talking. Two of them are enthralled by young, male, Korean musicians (I use the last term very loosely), so we talk about Han Geng a lot. Several others in the class are not so enthralled, so they express general disgust in a typically female fashion.
My perfect Chinese class – a group of 8- and 9-year-olds – is even more perfect now that the best of them got moved to bugger-of-a-class. These little kids learn from each other, inspire each other, question each other, compete with each other. There is a natural leader in this small group, and I just let her lead; no one seems at all threatened by her, because she knows when to step back. I don’t really need to be there, other than as a computer which may correct the odd point of grammar or supply a word. This group is learning English so quickly I’m concerned that I should be… concerned.
There is also a good group of boys at the tutoring centre, who have begun a series of competitions. Sometimes the competition is to see who can find the most similarities between Voldemort and me; sometimes they see who can finish their homework first. Each member of the group is now enthused about tutoring, and they will bawl out anyone who misses a session or doesn’t do the homework, because it affects their competitions (not because they care about the loss of education).
My children are also working on teams. My son has a new friend who is a moderating influence; I like this team. My daughter is acting as the moderating influence to a small group of girls; I’m not so fond of this team, as I don’t see my dear daughter as anything at all moderate.
Some of the teams are just two people. Me an’ Endymion, for example. I also have a girl in Grade 8 who works best on a team of just me an’ her. There is a Grade 9 boy who works best on a team comprised of himself and his younger brother. This last team is entertaining me greatly, as I play around with the finer points of their relationship.
Perhaps, what so annoys me about the term “team player” is that someone else has decided who should be on which team. They also expect you to play well with every team. This seems unnatural to me.
If we get rid of the businessmen, then humans will instinctively find their own teams.