Six Obstacles To Teacher Teamwork and Success

teacher teamwork obstacles

Wearing the same uniform does not make a group a strong team, and Teacher Teamwork does not happen on its own.

Unfortunately, although setting a school goal is important, the identification of a unifying goal does not ensure your group will work together through adversity to accomplish it.

To ensure your people reach their stated goal, you as a leader must be aware of the potholes and obstacles that may delay or even sabotage that journey. And while there are millions of examples for why teams fail, there are but a few reasons.

These threats to your teacher teamwork and school success are listed below.

Great team leadership should be intent on removing obstacles and impediments from their people’s path. It is the purpose of leadership to identify the goal, inspire investment in the goal, and theneliminate obstacles that might sabotage progress.

Being aware of these six threats to your group’s teamwork success can help you better prepare your organization and steer clear of the problems that most teams may fall victim to, including:

1. Splintered Focus – when people lose sight of the team’s primary goal, and either begin to spend too much time on minutiae or go completely off the page and lose direction, they not only slow down progress but may influence others teammates to lose focus as well. Like a dog when he sees a squirrel, team members can easily be distracted if not reminded of a clear mission.

2. Searching For a Silver Bullet – The secret to success is knowing that there is no secret to success. Weak leaders often feel their idea is a silver bullet that can overcome poor execution or talent. They key is to keep your strategy simple, gain support from the troops, and encourage them to offer useful ideas for improvement.

3. System Switching – In education, this has become a punch-line. Whatever systems are put in place to measure teacher performance are always short lived – something better and more insightful is almost always right around the corner, and replaces the previous “great idea” that they were promised would remain in place for decades. In your organization, it is important for your team to know that your team philosophy, vision, and values are not transient.

4. Lack Of Significance – To inspire people to commit to any cause, it must be a crusade, not just a diversion. People soon tire of and become bored with diversions. Strong teams work with a purpose and feel there is a significance for today and tomorrow that sustains the interest and efforts of all stakeholders.

5. Saying it without Stepping it – When a leader says one thing is important, but then makes decisions and takes actions that clearly emphasize the opposite, teamwork will suffer. Walk the walk before, during, and after talking the talk. What you say must always be congruent with decisions and actions, for it is your actions as a leader that people judge you by.

6. Silence or Deafness – Pride is perhaps the reason for most management deafness, for they do not recognize or acknowledge the value of up-line communication and the wisdom or insights that other team members can provide. Communication – both to keep people informed and feeling involved, and to benefit from the ideas of those throughout your organization, is the fuel that great teams never neglect.


Being aware of these obstacles your group may encounter is the first step in being able to sidestep and safely navigate the dangers that can sabotage progress on every team’s path.

Goals and roles are important, but once you have chosen your team and they set off on that yellow brick road to get what they have set out for, it is the job of leadership to help maintain team focus as confident and collaborating crusaders.

Buy-in is only the beginning. Maintaining that level of intensity and keeping everyone engaged with earnest effort and enthusiasm is where great leaders prove their worth.

If your group needs to refocus, identify roles, or enjoy an interactive and powerful set of activities that will create a more cohesive culture and build better relationships, contact Sean to discuss a faculty teambuilding today!