Work as a Team, Play as a Team
Cake pops take two and a half hours to make. Did you know that? We couldn’t believe it at first. We thought that it would only be a half-hour lesson, but we were wrong.
Our NOVA Learning Intervention Programme team recently got together to attend a cake pop-making class for our yearly team bonding activity. These little beauties may be easily popped into your mouth and consumed within two minutes, but they require a lot more time and effort to make.
Not as easy as it looks
The session began fairly simply. We were brought through the recipe for making the cake base and they came neatly sliced and dipped in white chocolate, much like the stick ice-creams you find at the petrol station. The teachers were bubbly and enthusiastic and they told us that we were going to “have so much fun!”
But as irony would have it, we failed at the first step.
“You have to hold the ears on for about thirty seconds,” our teacher told us, holding up a sample for us to see.
I nodded. This was the kind of thing we all learned in kindergarten. I dipped the triangle piece of modelling chocolate (fondant?) into the melted chocolate and held it fast on the cake pop. I counted to ten and checked. It stayed. Easy.
“Now we stick on the horn,” the teacher continued.
Too easy. I picked up a shimmering golden horn. To my horror, as I held the horn in one hand, the triangle ears started sliding off my cake pop in the other. Gasps echoed around the kitchen studio as others’ ears started slipping off too. What had we done wrong?
A flurry of disappointment filled my thoughts. I couldn’t do something as simple as a kindergartener’s art and craft lesson. I stared at my ear-less cake pop, feeling despondent.
The teacher smiled patiently.
“Did you remember to hold it on for thirty seconds?” she asked.
A collective “oh” issued from the room. Guilty faces looked at each other. We repeated the step, and it stuck! Some of us were feeling nervous at a second attempt, but the teachers’ words of affirmation gave us courage to try again.
The larger lesson
In many ways, making cake pops reminded me of NOVA’s values. Listening to instruction and self-management of failure were two prominent themes. Another was practising turn-taking as our ingredients were shared among the eight of us. We also encouraged one another and learned from each others’ mistakes.
This cake pop-making session was a good experience for all of us and helped us to bond better as a team in a new environment. Working together, you get to see one side of a person; and playing together, you see the other.
Facilitator, NOVA Learning Intervention Programme