Some of the most popular book and movie heroes work in teams, don’t they? The X-Men and Harry Potter and his friends are two examples that come to mind. Each individual person has their unique powers, yet they also rely on each other to get the job done.
In the language of The 7 Habits of Happy Kids, these qualities fit in the 6th Habit: Synergy. According to Wikipedia, synergy means the creation of a whole that is greater than the simple sum of its parts. While it is a term that was first used about physical development, it has come to signify the benefits of a “collective evolution;” that by working together we are all better off than if we all work just for our own achievement.
This month at Horace Mann, we will add Synergy to our list of Habits and encourage students to value other people’s strengths and the importance of getting along with others and working well in groups. As usual, this will be done through a story being read to classes and an adult facilitating a short discussion with students about the story. We will also add the Synergy posters to the Habits already hanging in hallways and classrooms, and we’ll feature quotes about Synergy on the Morning News.
If you’d like to talk about Synergy at home, one nice way to start the conversation is with a book. Here is a list of books that speak to this special kind of teamwork: Swimmy by Leo Lionni, Clifford’s Spring Clean-Up by Norman Bridwell, The View from Saturday by E.L. Konigsburg, A Wrinkle in Time by Madaline L’Engle and Chicken Sunday by Patricia Polacco. Of course, there are many more…
One of the best examples of Synergy I know is that of the Horace Mann Community. Thank you for bringing your time, talent, energy and love to create this wonderful, productive extended family we all enjoy. Each of us is richer for it!
With warm regards,
Dr. Merritt F. Waters