Team Work…a great teacher

What lessons did I learn from Assignment 2?

How would I like to have a similar experience in the future?
Will I want to do this again?
Shall I do something like it in a class that I (shall) teach?

Was approaching the end of course on ‘Assessment’. It had been good 3 months learning about ‘Assessment’. Only Assignment 2 was left (and off course the Final Exam). Then Ms. Malou posted the details about the course. And the stress took over…..First, it took me a while to understood the requirements of the assignment. And once I understood them, it caused me more stress ;-). Joining a group was the easiest part though it brought along a lot of apprehensions (about fellow group members).
For the 1st few days, nothing happened in my group and I started freaking out. I didnt know, whether my understanding of the task was correct or was I completely off the charts.

Then, one fine day, Sun finally shone….Irish (one of my group members) posted her views on our group. It was such a great relief, in more ways than one. I was relieved that at least, one other person was active in my group and the bigger relief was that her ideas confirmed my understanding 🙂
The discussion started, ideas kept going back and forth……it was just two of us…but the discussion was lively and meaningful….we were on the same page, almost instantaneously….both of us wanted to wrap up things well ahead of time…..(Irish, it was great working with you)

Then on another fine day, another bright star became visible on our group’s sky…..Queennie joined the discussion and brought along with her fresh insights….discussions got a new life….more questions, arguments, counter arguments……(but all in a respectful tone) Finally, we agreed on the TOS, tool and peer/self assessment rubrics.
Then we individually started working on our tasks and finally Asst 2 got over……What a relief !!!!! 🙂
Thanks a ton to Irish and Queenie, without whom crossing this bridge would have been extremely difficult.

Looking back on the entire process of Asst 2, I feel happy and contented. Initially, I had my apprehensions about working in a group, especially since we hardly know our peers from this e-community. I felt, I will be able to greater justice to the task by working alone. And yes, the initial phase did confirm my apprehensions. We worked in different time zones, had different schedules..but finally, we got around these hurdles and worked together as a team. This team work has taught me many things. In this highly connected world, we must become a good team-player and an effective communicator if we wish to convey our ideas and succeed. Through this task, I came to see Assessment through different perspectives…Each one of us brought different strengths to the table and together we were able to cook a delicious meal. It was not a smooth sailing throughout……but that’s what is life….We worked out our differences, saw other person’s perspective, respected each others’ ideas and reached our goal.

And yes, if given an opportunity, I would want to work like this again…

As an elementary school teacher, I often use group work during formative/summative assessments. Group work helps students in working on their social/self-management skills. This also helps those students who might not have the confidence but have the content knowledge. Other students can help them out in this. Sometimes, I allow my students to choose their group members. Other times, I make the groups. This ensures that students get to work with different people and learn to adjust accordingly. This also ensures that no group becomes too strong or is left with under-performers.

Thanks to Ms Malou for giving us this opportunity to work with others.

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