Last week, SCORES staff came together for the annual team office retreat. This time serves as an excellent way to debrief before the school year begins, connect with team members, and explore our organizational “culture” – the ways we behave, think, and believe as a team here at SCORES.
The day began with a slideshow presentation of the 2014 – 2015 school year: game days, program events, students busy at work with their writing and soccer. Afterwards, Amy led the group in a morning energizer to get the team up and moving. Working in pairs of “suns” and “moons,” team members formed two circles based on their astronomical body while facing their partner, orbited around each other in opposite directions, and then had find their partner and perform a certain action once the music stopped (i.e., touching elbow to elbow).
After a brief discussion of an effective office feedback model (advice vs. feedback in the workplace), we moved on to individual staff team-builders. Each staff member was responsible for leading a three to five minute team exercise that reflected SCORES curriculum that could also be used with students, staff, and coaches. After each activity, staff could receive feedback on their activity and leadership style.
Interspersed between team-builders and group discussion was the song challenge. Earlier in the week, staff members sent in the song they considered to be their “pump up” song. We had to guess which song belonged to whom, which proved to be moderately difficult on the whole: for example, diverse genre selections ranged from the Sister Sledge hit “We Are Family,” Kayne West’s “Champion,” Modest Mouse’s “Float On,” Blackstar’s* “Respiration,” and Alicia Key’s “Girl on Fire.”
The afternoon’s second group team-builder involved the use of SCORES Moments, written recollections by staff members of memorable events during the year. SCORES Moments were given to groups of three and organized according to the groups’ interpretation of the moment into the SCORES model.
After this brainstorming session, we refueled at Three Happiness Restaurant in nearby Chinatown, followed by a guided painting session at Color Cocktail Factory,* where we were able to paint part of the Chicago skyline!