There is no “me” in team either

Some people look ahead to the years when their children will be grown and envision vacations for two or candlelit dinners. Others imagine a time when the remote will always be right where you left it, when you’ll struggle to use a litre of milk before it goes bad, and when the washing machine becomes a place you only visit once a week.

Me, I’m looking forward to the day when there will never again be someone working into the wee small hours of the night on a “group” project. Alone.

I’m a reasonably intelligent soul. I get the purpose behind encouraging students to work as a group. I know that collaborative, co-operative efforts often crop up in the work world too, and that it helps to have mastered some sort of ability to “work well with others.”

But seriously. What is the point in assigning these things to little humans who can’t drive themselves to wherever the “group” has decided to gather, have no control over what time dinner is, aren’t allowed to miss Scouts/baseball/piano becuase “you made a commitment” and have a set bedtime? Not to mention the always-gotta-have-one group member who really doesn’t care all that much about getting a ‘C’ and so chooses not to participate or produces a half-assed effort that leaves the other group members left with the choice to pick up the slack or face the consequences of someone else’s actions? (or inactions, as the case may be)

And almost no one stays friends after a group project in elementary school, so I’m not quite sure what the kids are learning about building relationships.

If you’re going to assign group projects, then do ’em on school time. Don’t make group work my kid’s PITA. Because resentment, frustration and anger aren’t pretty in anyone. And it’s hard enough to teach kids’ to be responsible for their own stuff without demanding they be responsible for someone else’s.


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