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Teaching: The First Weeks and Beyond

Classroom Organization

Classroom Managment

Developing Instructional Routines

Handling Disruptive Students

Discipline in Specific Situations

Encouraging Cooperations

Grading and Report Cards

Parent Conferences

Building a Professional Image

Preparing for a Substitute

Dealing with Dangerous Students

Links to Professional Resources

Improving Teaching: Tips and Standards

Good Advice from Montana Teachers

Advice about Your Employment

Managing Your Money

MEA-MFT Contacts


Encouraging Cooperation

People nurtured on cooperation, acceptance, and success have a strong self-concept. Through cooperative ventures, young people learn to share, to empathize with others, and to get along better. Plus, cooperation and teamwork skills are essential in today's working world. Competition creates winners and losers. Cooperation lets everyone be winners.


You can help students recognize that their worth as a person is independent of winning or losing in a game or contest.


Emphasize the cooperative aspects of competition. 

  • In preparing for contests such as spelling bees, have participants study together for the contest.

  • Teach team members to be supportive of their team without denigrating opposing team members.

De-emphasize the importance of scores and winning in competitive games.

  • Combine the points of both teams with the emphasis on getting the highest total scores. Or,

  • Don't keep score at all.

Emphasize skill and strategy development. 

  • In games such as softball or kickball, have the runner run all the bases and the fielders throw to all bases regardless of whether an out is made.

  • In academic areas, have students keep records of their individual growth in skills.

  • Discourage the comparison of individual growth records and report cards.

Make use of cooperative assignments. 

  • Give one work sheet to two students to work on as a team.

  • Give assignments to small groups that can only be accomplished by group effort.

  • Divide research assignments into small segments and have committees research individual segments.

  • Divide the total group into subgroups and let individuals within each subgroup respond to one another's written work according to established criteria.

For more ideas on encouraging cooperation and improving self-esteem in the classroom, ask your colleagues or system resource professionals.