Mt. View Middle School students kick off school year with team building activities

Published: Sep. 7, 2022 at 5:13 PM EDT
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THORNDIKE, Maine (WABI) - Seventh graders at Mt. View Middle School are starting off the school year with something a little different than diving into their textbooks.

“We’re going to build our team. We’re going to build our community strong, and we’re here for you. And this stuff comes before academics. And if you deal with this stuff, then you’ll come to our classroom ready to learn,” said seventh grade language arts teacher Leslie Denton.

Denton knew heading back to school this year would be different for her students.

After two years of virtual learning and mask-wearing, she and her fellow teachers wanted to bring those in person connections back to the classroom.

“I’m really hoping that this shows them that they can put their cell phones down for a while and just reconnect in person with each other and that they can have better more connected relationships when they’re working and talking face to face, outside running and playing and getting exercise and doing things like that together instead of sitting glued to social media all the time,” Denton said.

The students have spent the last week doing team building activities that focus on communication, mental grit, and trust.

“It’s been a lot of fun. I think that it’s building up a lot of team spirit, and it shows you that you don’t have to do everything by yourself, and that help can be good,” said seventh grader Mia Johnson.

“I’ve learned that working together, your jobs could be easier than working alone,” said seventh grader Grace Hall.

Some of the activities involved passing a hula hoop around a circle and flipping over a tarp without ever touching the ground.

“You really had to communicate with your teammates, and so, that was good to get everybody to communicate, go outside. It was hard especially when we were the first group to begin, but once you got the hang of it, it was pretty easy, and we figured it out,” said seventh grader Will Gibbs.

The students even got to talk with Christian Griffith from the show “The Selection” about his message of survival and strength.

“With these team bonding exercises, you group up with friends, maybe people you just met, and you build that link or that chain stronger, so it doesn’t break as easy. Once you have that built and it comes to say a big essay, or another group project, you have that trust in them and you can easily rely on them and have them help you,” said seventh grader Elijah Cox.

Denton says she plans to use these activities for writing prompts in her class and continue team building throughout the year.