….Umm what?! NO!!
Upon hearing these words a cold chill descends my spine. My heart hovers above my stomach, waiting to drop, in anticipation of what comes next. Will the teacher pick the groups? Or do we choose our own groups?
Both scenarios are bad. They both go against my natural introverted tendency of working alone. I work better alone. I get things done quicker. Why is working in groups so great? I have to do only one part of the project while everyone else messes up the rest and has to talk about it all! Let me be a group of one. Can we do that?
What’s worse than working in a group is having to choose our own groups. So now this plays into my awkward shyness where I wait until someone hopefully asks me to join them .This is unlikely because I don’t know anyone else. Or, I can go up to a group and ask to join. Just the thought of that makes me nervous. The anxiety of trying to join a group and hoping they don’t reject me. I’m surprised I didn’t have ulcers in school.
What’s worse than group work you ask? How about working with a partner. Unless I know the person, that is the single worse thing for me. Unlike in a group, I can’t sit there silently while everyone else decides everything. I have to say something. Usually that leads me to stare at my notes as if I’m looking for an answer with a thoughtful look on my face hoping for a miracle. What miracle? I don’t know. Nothing could save me.
Group work is not for everyone
It would be great for teachers to give the option of opting out of group work. It isn’t ideal for everyone like they seem to think. For the most part, introverts don’t work well in groups. We need time to think. Things get decided quickly in groups and we don’t have time to process anything. We spend the entire time thinking over our answers while everyone else is deciding it all. When class is over we get up and leave. We are exhausted from the experience but the thing is, we don’t learn anything. We spend the entire time trying to take everything in, we get overwhelmed, and we don’t retain anything.
What good are these teaching techniques that only work on a portion of the students? How about using different techniques? During groups work let students like me work on my own. It saves us from the anxiety of picking partners and lets us learn the way that works best for us.