As an end of the year project we were told to choose four capacities from the Vision of the Graduate list on the Greenwich Public Schools website. As we chose our four capacities that had related to us the most during the year, we studied our capacities and practiced writing about our acheivements, accomplishments, and sometimes even failures within these capacities. Not only did we write about them but each innovator in Inlab was given the opportunity to speak about two of the four capacities for five minutes in front of each Inlab teacher to reflect on their past school year. One capacity that I had chosen to not only write about but talk about, was the Collaborate With Others to Produce a Unified Work and or/heightened Understanding:
One project that made a big impact on my life in school and out of school and helped me learn more about how to collaborate with others in group work was the National History Day Project.
My group and I struggled a bit with getting along and working together because we were friends. Sometimes, working with friends is not only good but sometimes bad. I know that sometimes for me, even, working with friends gives me the opportunity to be myself and to put in my best work and not worry about being judged.
Being able to work in group projects, you need to be able to collaborate with others and make sure that there is a certain understanding of what is expected and how to work together without any issues. I know that my group and I had trouble finding our common ground.
It was hard working like this because there was no accurate collaboration or communication. When there was collaboration and communication it wasn’t effective enough. It wasn’t effective enough to make sure that everyone in the group had the correct mindset to keep going without wanting to create another fight with one of the members in the group.
We had group meets to talk about these struggles but we never actually accomplished anything good from it, we just ended up yelling at each-other more and more. Not only have I been through something like this in my NHD project but with my STEM water cycle project, and with some of my relationships with my past friends. It stinks, because you really want to be able to get along with your group members, especially if you are friends with them, but if the collaboration and communication is lacking, so will the power of a good, healthy friendship.
Next year I hope to overcome the struggles of working in groups and try to receive more help on math problems that I am not so sure about without having to be my own teacher. As Brian Herbert once said, “The capacity to learn is a gift; the ability to learn is a skill, the willingness to learn is a choice”. So next year as a junior and in the future, I want to be able to learn how to improve these capacities, and improve these skills, to be able to learn with willingness and understanding.