Team-Building and Theme-Planning Templates

Back-to-school professional development might be the least exciting idea. When you think of the first week or two of in-service training, it likely makes you think of meetings day after day, hours discussing district initiatives, reviewing campus data, and exhaustion after leading back-to-back staff meetings. However, we’re going to change all of that. With your goal for campus climate in mind, you will use team-building activities and a campus theme to reinvigorate your back-to-school kickoff.

As you think about your theme, consider how to infuse it into various facets of campus life. As always, select a theme that supports your campus climate goal. Then think through the following:

  • How can you promote this theme? What goodies and gifts might you use to “rebrand” your campus with this theme?
  • Is there a motto or catchphrase that you can use for the year?
  • How can you tie this theme into ongoing campus activities?
  • In what ways can other stakeholders be brought into this theme? How will students and families be included?

While it’s fun to do team-building activities, they should also be intentional and meaningful. When you are thinking about your team-building activities, keep these ideas in mind:

  • What is the desired learning outcome for the group? How will this support the overall campus climate goal?
  • Pre-plan any small groups or partners if needed- would it be beneficial to the activity to be deliberate about who works with whom?
  • When you select a team-building activity, complete a practice run or walk through the activity to ensure you have all the materials needed, clear instructions planned, and can answer questions as needed.
  • Plan your debrief questions ahead of time. Carefully planned questions will ensure the participants connect the experience to the larger idea you are trying to establish.

Our free Team-Building and Theme-Planning Templates can help you in your back-to-school planning!