Evan asked;
We have recently fielded a request for a team-building workshop, and I would welcome any ideas or unique approaches as to how to proceed for maximum impact.
The request came from a local school in our area.
The Pre-K teacher and her teacher’s aide found that they had some extra development money, and need to use it by the end of the school year. They have decided that they would like us to provide a day-long team development workshop for just the two of them.
The teacher is new to the world of team building. The teacher’s aid is a trained outdoor educator who has facilitated team building experiences for several years (for us) and knows many of the ‘tricks.’
Pretty interesting dynamics!
Any ideas that we might use to create a meaningful and challenging experience that has something to offer both of these educators and can add value to their working relationship?
Something that can engage a group of 2 especially considering the team-building knowledge that one of them is already bringing to the table?
Mike answered;
With this training of 2, you are facing a paradox of power authority and training.
A) the teacher’s assistant (TA) is going to want to prove her Adventure savvy to the teacher
B) the teacher is going to want to be a leader and competent to the TA within the classroom structure.
What I would suggest is this.
Meet with the both of them separate and following a coaching model develop some questions to ask each of the educators i.e.;
  • What do you want to accomplish?
  • What should your role be in this training?
  • How do you wish to be known is this training?
  • What value will this training add to your classroom?
  • In what ways will this change your classroom?
  • etc..
Coaching them separately through common questions while taking notes.
Following the questions bring them together, have their answer cut into small paper strips and laminated. Give each teacher a random sampling of the strips and ask them to affix the answers to the questions.
Following that review the outcomes (facilitate)

Now you as the trainer should have greater clarity on what the teacher and the TA are looking for.
I recommend you then allow the TA to facilitate the teacher to discover some things in the classroom to do adventure wise. Then the teacher challenges the TA to put the adventure content into standards for education.
They leave the workshop with a book that they created that has adventure education activities that correlate to state standards.
Then you enter the classroom and observe the TA and teacher leading some of these initiatives. You meet with them together and separately to review what went well, needs improvement, etc… all being coach like and facilitative.
Offer to lead further program development and in-class training.
That is my idea.