Group work can be very rewarding, there is an abundant source of brain power that can come together to work on a certain activity. However, with group work you must keep an eye out for some risks. In her short story titled “Bloodchild”, Octavia Butler mentions, “accept the risk. There is a risk Gatoi, in dealing with a partner.” (Butler, 26) These risks can include things such as; one person taking charge of the whole activity and not listening to what anyone else has to say, others might feel as though they don’t have to contribute because everyone else in the group can do it for them. Other people might sit back and choose not to say much because their scared that their ideas aren’t good enough and that they might get shut down; that’s where I come in.
I have a hard time trusting my abilities as a writer. I touched a little on it before in my last blog post when discussing the confidence of my writing abilities and my past “training”. This lack of confidence becomes more apparent when working with a group. I don’t trust my strength as a writer enough to make strong contributions. Obviously when working in a group, I want to contribute as much as I can as well as having it be at a high quality. However, because my confidence in my strength as a writer is not where I need it to be, I am unable to contribute to the group with that quantity and quality.
These past four classes have pushed me out of my academic comfort zone. Three weeks ago, we started a project to rebuild the letter that students receive when put on academic probation. We were all put into groups to work on this said letter. The first class that we worked on this activity was terrifying. I sat there and didn’t say very much, I was incredibly intimidated. The other people in my group seemed to have it all down and they knew what they were talking about. They just kept suggesting ideas that I didn’t even think of. I felt very out of my league being in that group. The second day was somewhat better, I had a better understanding of the task at hand. I contributed more often but I was still not confident in the things that I suggested. Once the third and fourth days rolled around and we switched up groups, I had an even better understanding of the assignment and I started to feel a lot better about my contributions to the group.
Then today when we rearranged again into different groups and were told to combine two letters, my participation increased even more. I wrote about it in my reflection at the end of class discussing how I felt this sort of confidence with this group that I didn’t feel with the other groups. My suggestions were used almost always, and I felt as though I knew what I was doing. Personally, I think it’s because I became more familiar with the activity, so I had a better understanding of the task at hand and was able to contribute my ideas much easier. I also think that it’s because my grade on my previous blog post was significantly higher than it was on any of the blog posts before. I finally realized that I had the ability to write well and that my ideas were good. For this reason, I didn’t hesitate to share those ideas and enjoyed the activity much more. If I had not had that quick shift in confidence, I then would have never have contributed as much as I did, and I would have not understood the importance of the group activity.
Receiving a high grade on my blog post as well as becoming more comfortable with sharing my ideas as a writer in a group setting have made me realize that my confidence doesn’t have to be so low. Therefore, I count on my confidence to grow exponentially from now, until the end of the semester