This month, the BRIDGES class took a trip to the Weston Regional Park. The purpose for this trip was to do a team building exercise outdoors. The students all had a great time, and were excited to get out of their usual classroom setting. Everyone enjoyed the fresh air and games, and it really helped the students build their social skills in many ways.
The point of any team building exercise is to strengthen the group dynamics so that everyone learns to work as one unit. A large component of working as a team, and a large component to the BRIDGES class, is improving communication skills which is vital in team building. Team building exercises, such as obstacle courses, are trust games which require a high level of communication so that there is organization and cohesion. It makes tasks like delegating, giving instruction and participating easier, as everyone will understand the plan and be able to do what needs to be done to get there. The BRIDGES students definitely used and improved their communication skills to be able to complete these exercises as efficiently as possible.
Another skill that the BRIDGES students had to use was cooperation. When working in a team, sometimes ideas or personalities may clash a bit, but compromise and cooperation help set these differences aside to reach the common goal. The BRIDGES students all had different approaches to completing the exercises. If they were all about going with their own ideas separately, they would not have been successful. Instead, they had to come together as a team and figure out which ideas would be best and how everyone could work together to reach their goal. Additionally, they realized that not everyone could be the leader, and they had to cooperate by taking on different roles, even if they weren’t the student’s favorite role.
Finally, they had to work on their trust of one another. It was a lot harder for the students to trust each other with completing a task, especially when everyone has different ways of doing something. However, no student can do everything themselves, and when it came time to rely on their peers they were all pleasantly surprised with the results of their trust. Even though the task may not have been completed the same way they would have completed it, trusting others brought new vision and different outlooks that were essential to their goals being finalized.
It was a great day out in the park for the students. They all thoroughly enjoyed the fun and games, the fresh air, and the exciting new way of using and improving all of their social skills. All in all, it was a very successful day.