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Teamwork is key in education

Teamwork is the key to any group’s ability to get things done. And as a new school year begins, with new teams of people coming together for educational and recreational purposes, there are some positive signs to be proud of.

It took time and effort, but the Pine Hill Child Care Center, formerly housed at ConVal High School, has finally found a new home in Wilton with the Pine Hill Waldorf School. But it’s taken a whole year for the day care to find stable ground. The day care has now formed a partnership with the school that allows the independent nonprofit to continue serving families. A plan to house the day care at a home in Greenfield fell through before the Wilton plan coalesced, so clearly it took some persistence to see the dream of continuing the day care come to life. The day care has the loyalty of eight families, and more will likely follow.

Three of our public school districts have new superintendents this year, and when we interviewed them Monday all of them had something to say about teamwork.

Brendan Minnihan, ConVal’s new superintendent, identified communication as a key component of working together. And he’s been seeking input from staff about the best way of making sure it happens effectively. He’s even looking at some social media options.

Wilton-Lyndeborough Supt. Christine Tyrie is focused on building relationships and seeing things from a student perspective. Ruthann Goguen, the Mascenic superintendent, sees teachers and administrators as part of a united team whose members support each other in the task of educating students.

The extent to which the adults around them achieve success in teamwork will no doubt make an impression on the students. Like sponges, they’ll be absorbing everything — the things that work and things that don’t — as each day of the school year progresses. Second only to the material students learn is the importance of working with others. It’s the way all great experiments have succeeded throughout history. Legislative processes, building enterprises and economic development are just a few examples.

Students will have many opportunities in the days ahead to test their skills when it comes to working as a team. Athletes will be taking on positions on their teams, and will have to figure out how to work with others if they want to win games. Those in Conant High School’s building program who will be renovating a Peterborough home this year will need a lot of communication, too, to ensure the structural soundness of their construction work.

They say, “It takes a village to raise a child.” They’re right. The teamwork doesn’t end at the schoolyard gate. We’re all in this together.

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