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To lead the team or not to lead the team?

To lead the team or not to lead the team?

December 16, 2014

That was the question when my Chair asked me to lead Level 3 this semester.

I never thought I would be in such a position, but I am happy with it. When my Chair  asked to be a team leader, I kept asking myself “Why me?” I still don’t know the answer, but I realized that instead of asking “Why me?”, I should start asking: “What can I learn from this?” And, I have learned A LOT!

First of all, I guess I was lucky because I was shadowing an amazing previous team leader  last semester. Second, I had all the support and guidance that I needed from my supervisor. I have learned that being a team leader means that I should have perfect respect for my team because without them I have nothing.

I also learned how to have the right amount of strength to handle things that need to be handled, and not cry all day when I get something wrong (half a day will do!).  I had to have a huge amount of drive and determination to do things right. I also tried to please everybody but I realized that sometimes this just isn’t possible, and thankfully I had an amazing team who understood that.

What are the team leader’s responsibilities? MANY!!

  1. Weekly plans: to make it a smooth for myself and the team a clear weekly plan would help a lot. And the less you have on a plan, the easier it will be to follow.
  2. Team meetings: K.I.S.S. I like to keep it simple & sweet. Send an agenda to the team before the meeting to give them a chance to think of what we will talk about. This way, the team can help me add things I may have missed out. If we are in a conflicting situation, the majority would lead, or I would just ask my supervisor to have the casting vote.
  3. Delegating tasks: When I need to delegate tasks, I always ask for volunteers. Thankfully, the team was always active so I never faced any problem with that.
  4. Time management: I think you all know that time management is important, so I am not really going to talk about that. What I would like to share is how I was able to save a lot of my time. First of all, once the assessment dates were approved, I edited all tests in Blackboard to open on the assigned date and I created a folder with each test password i.e. theme 1 VG password food. Another thing that helped me a lot was that I created a template for all the basic emails, such as the grades.

I really enjoyed being a team leader, and I am thankful to the people on my team who made it work. One final thought is SMILE. It makes things a lot easier. And, try to be positive.

One of the sayings that I love was the one from the Emperor of China (in the cartoon Mulan): he said, “A single grain of rice can tip the scale.” I know it’s my first semester team leading; therefore I just want to be the single grain of rice for now. Hopefully, if I do this again next semester I want to be a bag of rice!


December 16, 2014
Faculty Lounge, Teaching & Learning
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