By Senior AmeriCorps member Valarie Kemp, proudly serving at Merrydale Elementary School. 

While working on a team is both a fun and essential part of City Year, it can also be frustrating trying to navigate various personalities and emotions. We know some days are long and hard and you might just want to throw in the towel, but Team Merrydale has five things to remember when working on a team.

1. Have Patience and Understanding! City Year teams consist of different people from different places, with unique experiences and backgrounds. Being patient allows everyone to express their feelings and articulate their own point of view. Being patient also allows everyone to have a better understanding of each other’s views on different topics.

2. Be a team player! Be openminded to the fact that everyone does not think or work like you. Everyone has their own routine that may work for them and sometimes it may clash with your own tactics but remember our core value “Empathy: we strive to constantly walk in the moccasins of others.”  

3. Good Time Management! In any field of work, there are deadlines that are to be met. Sometimes, time gets away from us, we miss deadlines, and we get behind on our work. Having good time management will not only help you meet a deadline but also help with organization. 

4. Space! Working with a team means you see the same people every day and talk about the same things almost every day. Things can become repetitive and boring. Give yourself some space and time away from work and your teammates. Everyone needs to step back and have time to recharge in order to function their best as a team member.  

5. Be Aware! Remember our core values teamwork; it says “We strive to work powerfully together in a unified effort to achieve our goals.” In order for a team to work efficiently and effectively and reach their goals, everyone must be oh the same page. When everyone is on the same page, then everyone knows everything that is going on which reduces the chance of commotion in the workplace.

As Team Merrydale, we created three standards for us to live and work by, so we can be an efficient and effective team. Our team operates using three standards: 1) Be you, but be willing to grow; 2) walk in the moccasins of others; and 3) supporting each other and lasting impact. These standards remind us every day that we are one team and to be efficient and effective, we must remember these things that are needed when working on a team.

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