Table 3: Belbin’s Nine Roles and the Work of TBTs

Role Cluster

Role

Description

TBT Example

Adapted from Belbin, 1993, 2010

Action-oriented role

Implementer

Concerned with the practical application of plans developed by the team. This entails a down-to-earth outlook, coupled with perseverance in the face of difficulties.

The teacher who breaks down an agreed-upon instructional strategy into manageable steps.

Action-oriented role

Completer

Ensures that the team’s efforts achieve appropriate standards, and that mistakes are avoided and gaps filled. It also involves searching details for mistakes and maintaining a sense of urgency within the team.

The teacher who pulls together data for the final report that the TBT sends to the BLT and also edits the report.

Action-oriented role

Shaper

Challenges, argues and disagrees. Is achievement-motivated, extroverted, impatient, and has a low frustration threshold. Keen on winning the game. Shares useful insights. A non-chair leader.

The teacher who points out ways that actual implementation of an instructional strategy deviates from the plan agreed upon by the TBT.

People-oriented role

Coordinator

Organizes, co-ordinates, and controls the activities of the team. This involves clarifying team objectives and problems, assigning tasks and responsibilities, and encouraging team members to get involved in the work needed in order to achieve goals and objectives.

The teacher who organizes the meeting schedule for the TBT and takes notes indicating what each team member agrees to do.

People-oriented role

Team worker

Creates and maintains a team spirit. Improves communication by providing personal support and warmth to team members and by overcoming tension and conflict.

The teacher who points out the commonalities in apparently disparate views in order to build the cohesion of the team and demonstrate the value of all teachers’ contributions to the team’s work.

People-oriented role

Resource investigator

Explores the environment outside the team, by identifying ideas, information, and resources. Performance of this role involves developing contacts, co-ordination, and negotiation with other teams and individuals.

The teacher who consults with members of other TBTs in the school to find out the practices that are working for those other teams.

Problem-solving-oriented role

Monitor/ evaluator

Analyzes ideas and proposals being considered by the team to evaluate their feasibility and value for achieving the team’s objectives. Points out in a constructive manner the weaknesses of proposals being considered.

The teacher who reviews studies of strategies the team is considering and shares the evidence of efficacy with other members of the team.

Problem-solving-oriented role

Plant

Concerned with putting forward strategies for achieving the objectives adopted by the team. Performance of this role requires creativity, imagination, and innovation.

The teacher who offers a new way of looking at a problem when the team reaches an impasse.

Problem-solving-oriented role

Specialist

Contributes in-depth knowledge of a key area but has a tendency to focus narrowly on his/her own interests, sometimes to the detriment of the accomplishment of team goals and objectives.

The teacher who knows a lot about a particular instructional approach (e.g., co-teaching) and always recommends that approach (whether or not it is likely to be applicable).

Ohio's Data Team Process: Teacher-based Teams (TBTs) in Action

© 2015 School of Education and Health Sciences Grant Center, University of Dayton