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  • BW Baldwin Wallace College

Working in Groups

I know in my past years at the high school level, and even middle school, that when the teacher says those magic words "Okay everybody, today we will be working in groups!" that you either look around to all your friends with a huge smile, or sigh in utter dissatisfaction. I was often working in groups in those classes that I rarely had any friends in, how ironic I would think to myself, and grudgingly move into my group to begin the awkward first 4 minutes of discussion where every body blankly stares at their neighbor in hopes that they will take the first step in introducing an idea. However, that hasn't been the case here at BW for me, although hard to believe considering I know even less people here than I did in high school, as is to be expected. So this takes me to my topic, working in groups, and how different it is here when the teacher says those same magic words. In a communications class I have with a teacher that makes us call her Angie rather than Mrs. Plasinek to ensure a casual, laid-back environment, we were put into groups to lead a class for the full 50 minute period in a discussion style meeting about leadership in sports. Sports, for those who have read my previous blogs, have a very dear place in my heart, and I was more excited about the topic than the whole "group thing." Regardless, we moved into groups that first day and it was as if we had known each other for years. Every member lent ideas (even though we laughed at a few, literally laughed), we had a great discussion, and even set up our entire out-of-class meeting schedule. I was honestly shocked that it had worked out so well, especially with the past experiences I had had. To say the least our class leading discussion went great, but it wasn't about the final product but rather how we got there, how incredible my group members were, and how they fit the model of the great people at this school. Sometimes you'll have those disagreements, those subtle arguments, or even those rare eye rolls with certain people that are just difficult, but I haven't found that here yet and certainly don't see it on the horizon anytime soon. So some advice, loosen up, work in groups, and get some different perspectives because simply talking, may be the easiest way to learn.