RGS Guildford courtyard with students

Reflection: Teamwork

The theme for this week is teamwork: something we rely on so often but frequently fail to recognise and appreciate.  It’s important that we reflect on team work and really get to grips with what it means as it surrounds us in all realms of life, be it in the classroom, on the sports pitch or in the House system when everyone comes together for an event.

To look at one of the greatest instances of teamwork we need to go back to 1961 when NASA decided they wanted to do the unthinkable, put the first man on the moon.  At the time, it was unfathomable that such a feat was possible.  It certainly wouldn’t be possible with the efforts of only one or a few individuals.  Knowing this, NASA assembled a team of 34,000 employees to start working on winning the space race.

Just 8 years later, Apollo 11 was the first spacecraft ever to land on the moon.  It’s rather difficult to comprehend just how monumental this achievement was.  However, it was not merely the glory of three astronauts that lead to this historical milestone being reached.  Instead, it was the result of years of dedication and persistent teamwork.

This example is evidence of what humanity can achieve when we unite, collaborate and work towards a shared goal.  This example shows us teamwork is something that allows ordinary groups of people to do extraordinary things.  In all realms of human endeavour, teamwork is the catalyst for improvements and success.  Each team member brings something unique to the table and teamwork can provide people with the opportunity to achieve something far beyond what they could do personally.

The importance of teamwork also goes beyond achieving success.  It is about the sense of belonging that a team can deliver, and the mutual respect for one another that can be achieved when working in a team.  Through teamwork, we can learn how to communicate, problem solve and value the opinions of others.

However, people can often take teamwork for granted.  Some people may fail to collaborate with the team around them.  They may confuse teamwork with the opportunity for others to pick up their slack and do their share of the work.  This is nothing but laziness and selfishness and we must ensure that we never slip into these harmful tendencies when working in a team.

In closing, it is important to remember that no person, no matter how brilliant can accomplish the impossible by themselves.  For we can see that the greatest achievements in humanity have been as a result of the dedication of a cohesive team.  It is this team work which allows us to turn the seemingly impossible into a reality.

Tom Allen
Sixth Form student