Fostering effective group collaboration in the classroom is a must if you are going to train students how to positively work together in accomplishing a group project. Students must learn how to work together in order to experience success in life. Without this ability, the chance of leading an accomplished adult life is slim. In the cooperate world and many other industries the ability to work as a team is critical for getting things done.
The Impact of Bad Attitudes
However, if one member has a bad attitude, he or she can put the group in danger of failing to accomplish its goals. This is the reason elementary teachers must train students how to effectively work in groups and resolve conflicts in a positive way. Nevertheless, there may be some students who enter a group project with a bad attitude and refuses to abandon it for the good of the group.
Such a student can create massive frustration and stir up animosity among group members. A group member with bad attitude constantly complains and attacks the ideas of other students. It is their way or no way at all. Little progress is made when a student with a bad attitude is allowed to exist.
Setting things on Right Course
This is where you as a classroom teacher must intervene. First you must open a communication line with the troublesome student. Arranging a meeting with the student before project time begins is a good idea. Make it known to the student the importance of working as a team and the dangers of refusing to listen to the ideas of others. Let the student know that you will not tolerate this behavior any longer and that if it continues he or she will be pulled from the group project.
Preventing the Dragon from Awakening
The best way to prevent a situation from happening in the first place is to set a firm policy for working together before even starting a group project. Students need to know what you expect as well as what is needed to succeed in a collaborative project. Each student must also know that the ideas of others must be respected at all times.
Group members must know that it is ok to disagree on the way to coming to a common agreement on how the project should be accomplished and presented to the class.
Although teachers often act as facilitators of group projects, they must be vigilance and detect the collaborative atmosphere of each group. At the first sign of excessive resistant to the ideas of other by any group member must be addressed immediately.
The Birth of a Strong Team
When students work positively on a group project, they soon learn that the obstacles that were overcome not only led to the success of their project but also to the building of a strong and effective team.