Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Seven Stages of Groupwork

I'm at a great CS teachers workshop for the next few days, and there are a ton of generously given ideas and resources bandied about.

But then the ax came down with the statement, "We have put you all in groups of four, and you will be completing various tasks with your group the next few days." Then I think I went through something like the 7 stages of grief with my mixed emotions.

Stage 1: Shock & Denial ... What? They cannot be serious! I am just here to quietly absorb information!  I can't be expected to perform. I don't know what I'm doing!

Stage 2: Pain & Guilt ... I hate group work. I will be the loser in the group. Everyone will shun me and expose me for the know nothing that I am. There will be pushy people in the group.

Stage 3: Anger & Bargaining ... $&?&:@/(&(/@(&?!, Okay, if I can just get through this, then I can treat myself to chocolate, or wine OR BOTH!

Stage 4: Depression & Loneliness ... Sigh there's always Group work. This is payback for when I make the kids do group work. I'm just going to go in this corner by myself and eat worms.

Stage 5: The Upward Turn ... Hey! My group mates aren't so bad! Hey! I actually contributed something! Hey, and I even learned something, and it wasn't so bad!

Stage 6: Working Through ... This is valuable! Everyone should do group work! Three cheers for group work!

Stage 7: Acceptance and Hope ... Whew! It's over! I accept that I made it through and am now banishing the experience from my memory bank!


  1. :)) So THAT'S what I've been feeling! Glad I'm not alone.

  2. I went through these exact stages last month during a two day workshop. At the end of the two days I realized I had gained much more than just content knowledge. Through the experience, I formed three new relationships with people I would have never met or became friends with if I hadn't been "forced" into the group work I hate so much.

  3. Thank you for sharing this. Makes us remember the anxieties our students go through. BTW, Microsoft CEO just put out a 2700 word treatise on collaboration and how without it, his company is dust...just sayin' (Thinking I am going to play the excerpt first day) A

  4. Thanks for the comments! I guess we all feel the pain/benefit combination. I also experience the extras I get out of it every time, but then later, it's still as painful to start. And I also hear how it's SUCH a needed and important skill to be able to collaborate with others in the workplace. Conflicted feelings!

  5. Thankks great blog post